A day to reflect on the importance of making yourself visible on the roads

In dimly-lit Denmark not enough cyclists are wearing reflectors on their winter coats, while pedestrians need to take heed as well, claim the organisers of Årets Refleksdag

Today is national reflection day in Denmark – after all, we all need a little bit of introspection from time to time.

What’s that? Årets Refleksdag is actually ‘National Reflector Day’, and it’s held every year on the Thursday before the clocks go back to remind us all (besides getting an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning) of the importance of being visible when using the country’s roads.

Copenhagen needs to lighten up
A kind woman gave one of our reporters a free reflector as he cycled past Copenhagen Central Station this morning. “Lyser Danmark op” (light Denmark up) it proclaims – pyromaniacs look away now!

Sponsored by Børneulykkes Fonden and Codan, the organisers of Årets Refleksdag are keen to stress the reflectors are not just for cyclists, but all ‘bløde trafikanter’ (soft road users), so joggers, skateboarders, rollerskaters and particularly pedestrians and children.

Attaching a few reflectors to your winter coat could make all the difference, but only one out of every three cyclists in Denmark wears one during the dark months. The figures are particularly low in Copenhagen.

Get your bling on!
Given the determination of joggers to use the roads – as well as the numerous nature areas across Denmark – many running clubs are holding a special refleksløb today. However, 86 percent tend to wear reflectors when exercising on a light-deprived day, so joggers are not considered a problem group.

Schools and kindergartens are getting in on the act, with classes scheduled to draw awareness to the need to add some bling to their clothing. But really it is the parents who need to take heed!

According to a survey by Safe Traffic Norway, road users are 85 percent less likely to be sighted by vehicle operators, who at a speed of 50 km/h will see you on the road ten seconds before impact. For those not wearing a reflector, the driver’s reaction time is reduced to two seconds.