Reflective vests can be life savers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Reflective vests can be life savers

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Walking down the street - it's a simple act many of us take for granted - but it can be dangerous.

"I was trying to cross the road and I was dressed inappropriately," said Darryl Brown

Two years ago Brown was crossing an Albany street while wearing dark clothing. That night he learned the hard way the danger of crossing the street.

"I wasn't thinking and the person hit me and knocked me off the road," he said.

Brown wasn't seriously hurt but the same can't be said about others. In January, 66-year-old Roosevelt Coley was struck and killed while crossing Ogelthorpe Boulevard.

A month later 46-year-old Michael Thomas died while walking home on U.S. 82. Both men were victims of hit and runs while walking at night.

"I guess the ultimate message we can send is to just be aware of your surroundings. Don't take it lightly when you are walking where there is a lot of traffic or in a residential area," said APD spokesperson Phyllis Banks-Whitley.

With spring time here, and the weather suitable for jogging or walking in the early morning and late night hours, an extra safety measure pedestrians can take cost as little as $4.00.

Typically worn by road crews, reflective vests are becoming more popular with walkers and joggers.

"They are very affordable. The most expensive vest we have is $26.00," said Safety Max Manager Angel Wilbanks.

Safety Max sells a variety of reflective material from vests to shirts. These items can increase someone's visibility by as much as much 100 yards.

"Ladies who walk in their neighborhoods always come and get their vests. Motorcyclists come and get them," said Wilbanks.

While police advise all pedestrians to obey traffic signals and use caution at crosswalks, added visibility at night can mean the difference in being seen or not.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration more than 4,300 pedestrians were killed and 69,000 injured in 2008.


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