Carlow company Bodylite are passionate about ensuring a safe environment for pedestrians and this winter they have launched an innovative reflective LED vest which allows users to safely walk, run or cycle at night and be visible for up to 500 metres in front of an oncoming vehicle.
The launch comes just in time for the clocks going back and the onset of dark mornings and evenings and is also timely as pedestrian safety remains high on the agenda for Government road safety policymakers.
The Government’s recent Vision Zero (2021-2030) Strategy for Road Safety concluded that while progress has been made in reducing car user deaths during the 2013–2020 period, less of a change has been observed in cyclist, pedestrian, motorcyclist and other road user deaths.
It is with pedestrian safety in mind that Bodylite’s LED reflective vest was created, with practicality also key – the eco-friendly rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours light but is also thin and lightweight ensuring ultimate comfort. The vest contains a powerful stripe of green light across the front and two strips of red light at the back, as well as even further assurance for visibility through reflective elements throughout the entire vest.
A Road Safety Authority (RSA) study found that 313 pedestrian fatalities occurred during 2008-2015, and 98% of those were not wearing high visibility clothing. Road safety use is a Vision Zero safety performance indicator, with one of the measures to achieve this including targeting high-risk groups, with pedestrians commonly identified as vulnerable road users.
Padraic George founded Bodylite after finding that, during his daily exercise through a rural area of Carlow without street lighting, his safety was often impeded due to darkening evenings causing poor visibility, and though he used hand torches and his phone to be visible to traffic, he felt there had to be an efficient, and most importantly, safe solution. This prompted Padraic to create Bodylite, a now successful brand with a wide range of products purpose-built for pedestrian safety, from an LED belt to reflective headbands and dog leads.
The RSA’s most recent figures show that while 19 pedestrians were killed in 2021, this is the lowest number of pedestrian deaths over the last 25 years, when records began.
Bodylite’s ethos is rooted in helping to ensure the maximum safety possible for pedestrians, including but not limited to those exercising in rural areas where streetlights are not present.
Urging pedestrians to take steps to ensure their safety over the coming months, Mr George said: “As the clocks go back this coming weekend, we will really see the return of dark mornings and evenings, with this the danger posed to vulnerable road users increases. We are committed to supporting the safety of pedestrians and we believe that everyone should feel safe and visible on public roads, estates, and footpaths in both rural and urban settings.
“Pedestrian fatalities are on the decrease in recent years, but to ensure this remains the case we can put the safety into the hands of pedestrians and ensure maximum visibility on Irish roads. We want to continue to help to provide the public with the tools to hopefully lower the possibility of accidents occurring,” he concluded.
Further information on Bodylite’s range of products is available at www.bodylitegear.com