Pedestrian, illuminate thyself

While descending down to the Yukon River and Whitehorse this morning, via Robert Service Way, I observed the first major fog event of the upcoming winter.

While descending down to the Yukon River and Whitehorse this morning, via Robert Service Way, I observed the first major fog event of the upcoming winter. This reminded me of a phenomenon that occurs every winter. Pedestrians and bicyclists ambulating blissfully about, confident in the misconception that God and/or the government will keep them safe while wearing only dark clothing.

On behalf of drivers, let me go ahead and plant this truth into your misdirected little brains: We can’t see you. When you enter the dark and fog of a Whitehorse early winter morning, and you are wearing nothing but dark clothing, please be advised that we can’t see you.

It is dangerous to walk or pedal into these conditions without the benefit of reflective clothing and/or some form of a light. Bicycles are required by law to have a light now, but a large number of bicyclists seem to think that a one-centimetre light will be seen for at least four kilometres. Adults should know better. So should the parents who send school-age children out without the benefit of either reflective clothing or lights.

Please equip yourselves and your offspring appropriately for these conditions. You will save both of us a great deal of misery by doing so. The vast majority of vehicle operators will gladly behave in a courteous and safe manner toward walkers and cyclists. We will even, in most cases, yield to you even if not required to do so. But we have to see you (before we run over you) in order to do so.

Even if you do have the good sense to make yourselves highly visible, please allow for the fact that it will be dark and foggy. Cut us some slack and make sure that we see you before you just plunge ahead. Take some responsibility for your own safety.

Have a good winter. Hope to see you soon.

Rem Ricks

Whitehorse

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