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Be Safe, Be Seen – for free if you are quick enough

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CAMOUFLAGE is out and hi-vis is in on the streets of Guernsey.

The OSA pop-up shop has been taken over by Living Streets to give away hi-vis jackets, sponsored by Specsavers. Left to right: Ali Bisson (OSA), Sheila Cataroche (Living Streets), Pat Wisher (Living Streets), Rachel Taylor (OSA), Belinda Windsor (OSA), Chris Goldsbrough (Specsavers), Clayton Taylor (Specsavers) and Tom Le Pelley (Living Streets). (Picture by Peter Frankland, 268389770)

Florescent tabards are being given out for free this week as part of a local charity’s Be Safe Be Seen campaign.

Living Streets Guernsey has taken over the OSA Recruitment pop-up shop in Smith Street for Road Safety Week.

It may look like a shop for construction workers, airport staff and police officers, but actually it is for pedestrians of all ages.

The high visibility wear is available for adults in yellow, pink, orange and light blue, and in children’s sizes there is yellow, pink and lime green.

The sizes start at age three and go up to adults XXL.

The colourful gilets have had an image problem in the past with young people, but geek is the new cool, and the neon vests can add pop to an outfit and create a layered look.

The secretary of the group, Pat Wisher, said they wanted to keep pedestrians safe.

‘It’s so important because the weather’s been terrible and it gets dark so quickly, when people leave work at 5pm it’s dark, and even if you’re just going to pick up your car from North Beach car park you’ve still got to walk and cross the road and you need to be seen.

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‘Women, of course, come in and want pink, and I usually say that it’s really not a fashion statement, this is road safety, and we all know that yellow is best, but we have the other colours because we’d rather something gets worn.’

The colourful items were purchased with funds raised from a bright dress-down day at Sir Charles Frossard House, BDO, Ravenscroft and Julius Baer.

Specsavers is also sponsoring the event.

The pop-up shop will be open all this week, from 10am-4pm, and possibly on Saturday depending on how quickly the stocks go.

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Everything is on a first-come first-served basis and Mrs Wisher would like to see all pedestrians embrace the idea and get kitted out.

‘Dog walkers should always be wearing something visible because they often go out early in the mornings and then again after work.

‘I use the bus all the time, I get on a bus at the top of the road when we close at 4pm and it’s full of Elizabeth College boys and they’re all in their very dark uniform and by the time they get to Torteval, where I live, they get out of the bus and they’re walking down small lanes wearing black.’

The Guernsey Bicycle Group has also publicised the Be Safe Be Seen message to the all-weather cyclists.

Also available in the pop-up shop this week will be Living Streets’ merchandise, such as Guernsey country walks cards and calendars.

Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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