Looking for a great last-minute holiday gift?  Keep your loved ones safe AND warm this winter: Hi-Viz wear – special bright colored, reflective clothing, blinky lights, flashlights and reflectors will greatly reduce their chances of being hit by a car.

As the amount of daylight is at a minimum at this time of year, being seen is very important to staying safe.  This is not just an issue for runners and bicyclists    Those leaving early for the T, kids coming home on the late bus, and people out walking their dogs are nearly invisible to drivers.

With only minimal street lights on most streets, the possibility that car windshields are not perfectly clear and the preference for dark clothing in the winter, incidents like the two car-pedestrian collisions on Centre Street in late November are all too easy to imagine.  Being visible is especially important around dusk when visibility is low but drivers don’t always have their lights on.

The good news is there are a lot of easy, inexpensive ways to become more visible.

There are also lots of fashionable options.

Local bike stores and nearby retailers such as City Sports and EMS have a range of options for jackets.  Local bicycle stores have red and white blinking (or steady) lights that can be clipped or strapped on, hand held, or installed on cycles or helmets.Ikea offers a great $3 yellow vest in sizes for the whole family XS-XXL.  There are loads of online options from specialty manufacturers and standbys like LL Bean.

Neon is IN. So make the street safer for everyone, and pick up something bright for the darkest months.

This message brought to you by Alicia Bowman, Pedestrian Coordinator, and Lois Levin, Bicycle Coordinator for Newton! Happy Holidays!