Celgar has launched “BE SEEN,” a pedestrian safety awareness campaign. Mark Goebel, health and safety manager, and Rob Merlino, occupational health and safety member, paid a visit to Stanley Humphries Secondary School on Monday morning. The students are putting their hands up in response to a question from Goebel about how many of them had been hit or almost hit by a vehicle. (Submitted) Celgar has launched “BE SEEN,” a pedestrian safety awareness campaign. Mark Goebel, health and safety manager, and Rob Merlino, occupational health and safety member, paid a visit to Stanley Humphries Secondary School on Monday morning. The students are putting their hands up in response to a question from Goebel about how many of them had been hit or almost hit by a vehicle. (Submitted)

Celgar launches pedestrian safety campaign in Castlegar

Every fall and winter discussions at Celgar safety meetings are often focused on pedestrian safety.

Every fall and winter discussions at Celgar safety meetings are often focused on pedestrian safety.

Many of the company’s employees travel to and from work in the dark and Celgar is surprised and concerned with how many people walk along the edge of the road and highways, often on the wrong side of the road with their backs to oncoming traffic and often in dark or poorly visible clothing.

Safety is a huge part of business at Celgar and Celgar employees carry this safety mindset with them when they leave the mill site as well looking for ways to promote safety in their homes, their schools and the community.

After the local pedestrian fatality from the snowplow last winter, Celgar employees’ hearts went out to the grieving family as well as the operator of the plow and they became even more committed to doing what they can to improve pedestrian safety in our community.

Celgar approached a handful of local businesses with their idea to bring a pedestrian safety awareness campaign into the community and the response they received was overwhelmingly positive.

With the support of their sponsors — Selkirk College, Castlegar Rotary, Sutco Transportation, Mountain Transport Institute, the City of Castlegar, Chinook Scaffold Systems, Castlegar News, EZ Rock, Hall Printing and The Goat — the “BE SEEN” campaign began.

The campaign launches this week as 5,000 reusable, high-visibility and reflective armbands are provided to the community. Each of the 1,600 students enrolled in Castlegar schools will receive one in time to use it for Halloween night, and more complimentary bands are available to pick up at Castlegar’s library or recreation centre while supplies last.

But Celgar’s campaign goes beyond Halloween. Statistically, more pedestrian accidents happen during the fall and winter months and when light and weather conditions are poor than any other time. The reflective armbands provided through the BE SEEN campaign are reusable, large enough to fit around your leg while biking or jogging, small enough to fit in your pocket when not needed — and fashionable too. We’re hoping that community residents that walk and recreate on our roadways will use them all year long.

To keep road safety in the mindset of the community — and help pedestrians be visible in the dark — Celgar is offering an incentive for Castlegar residents to keep wearing their reflective armbands. From now through February, Celgar will have “safety spotters” out and about on our roadways. They’ll be looking to catch you wearing your armbands out in the community — and if they do — you’ll be entered into our monthly prize draw.

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