Kids design own reflective outfits

More than 140 kindergarten groups of children-designers took part in the state Road Traffic Safety Directorate’s (CSDD) public awareness contest, creating their own reflective outfits to join in the pedestrian dark-road safety campaign ongoing this fall since the Saeima passed a law mandating the wearing of reflective vests by anyone walking along an unlit roadside during the winter season.

Altogether more than 2500 wearable safety-equipped reflective items were created by the little kids, with help from their teachers and parents. The winners chose to work into their overclothes colorful drawings and ornaments made of reflective materials.

Among the awarded participants were the Nītaure pre-school group Zīļuks and Kuldīga pre-school Bitīte, as well as four kids from the Liepāja kindergarten Liepiņa.

According to CSDD director Andris Lukstiņš, the children’s enthusiasm for the task exceeded expectations and showed how conscientiously they related to traffic safety issues without losing their sense of play and fun.

The contest marks the close of the CSDD “Be seen – stay alive!” campaign, during which statistics show a reduction almost by half the number of roadside fatalities so far this year.

However, residents of rural areas especially, where there are long stretches of unlit roads, are urged to wear reflective vests themselves on the roadside, and make sure their fellow community members do too.

Unfortunately, the Traffic Police reported Tuesday that altogether 77 road accidents took place across the nation, with two pedestrians killed. One elderly gentleman in Talsi was fatally struck by a truck at a pedestrian crossing in the Kurzeme town, while someone in Rušona parish in far Latgale walking along the roadside with no reflective materials on his dark clothing during the night was struck and killed by a driver trying to pass another vehicle.

"The police urge all residents to be cautious of their own safety and use reflective vests and materials on their clothing and to walk on the correct side of the road - against the direction of traffic (not with your back turned to it)", said police spokeswoman Diāna Lūkina.

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