The City of Madison Traffic Engineering and Madison Public Libraries are kicking off their second Be Bright at Night Campaign this November 2021.

With daylight saving time almost over, it will be getting dark earlier in the evening. However, walking and biking remain great ways to get around the city. The Be Bright at Night campaign aims to encourage safety and lower the barriers to having lights. Before heading out in the evenings, make sure your lights and reflectors are in good condition so you are visible and can better see your surroundings.

“When we think about increasing safety for people who ride and walk at night, we must ensure that everyone has access to required bike lights and that anyone who wants them can get reflective materials or arm bands. This campaign offers us an opportunity to meet those needs in a setting that is fun and accessible to people throughout the city” said Renee Callaway, Pedestrian and Bicycle Administrator.

Beginning November 3, if you walk or bike to the library to pick up books or other materials during the month of November, you will have the opportunity to pick up lights and reflective armbands, free of charge and until supplies last, to keep you and your loved ones bright at night this fall and winter. Madison Public Libraries are located in nine neighborhoods throughout Madison making them the perfect partner to help reach residents who need a light or want reflective materials.

City of Madison data shows that over 60% of serious and fatal pedestrian crashes and 15% of serious and fatal bike crashes happen after dark. If you are driving, use extra caution at night and in bad weather, slow down and be prepared to yield at crosswalks, and never pass vehicles stopping at crosswalks as there may be people crossing that you cannot see.
Bicyclists as well as people using electric scooters or other similar devices remember:

  • A white headlight helps you see and be seen by others, and is required by Wisconsin law.
  • Your front light should be bright enough to allow you to see the road clearly, with enough distance ahead, to avoid a hazard.
  • A red rear reflector or light is also required by Wisconsin law.
  • Reflective leg or arm bands help others identify you on the path, sidewalk or street. They are also great for dogs!

Increased education and awareness surrounding biking and pedestrian safety is an important piece of the City’s Vision Zero initiative that is working to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities and serious injuries. The Be Bright at Night campaign offers an opportunity to get lights to people who need them and remind everyone to look for people walking and biking especially with the start of darker days and changing weather.

Just because the days are darker and the weather is cooler doesn’t mean people out aren’t walking and biking. Why not take a walk or get on your bike and make a visit to your neighborhood library where you can get a light, some reflective material and find a great book, magazine or video.

If you are interested in more information, please reach out to City of Madison Pedestrian and Bicycle Outreach Specialist at jbarroshoffens@cityofmadison.com.

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