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DontGetHit Archive Page
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Group Looks Out For Kids’ Safety with a Be Seen, Be Safe Backpack Giveaway|
Excelsior Action Group (EAG) is
an economic and community development organization in San Francisco's diverse
Excelsior District, where more than half of the residents are foreign-born and
there are more families with young children than in any other part of the city.
Pedestrian collisions were at a record high in San Francisco in 2013 and
EAG has responded by ramping up efforts to make the Excelsior safer for
walking, such as with the Be Seen, Be Safe Backpack Giveaway.
This event was a partnership between a local youth
organization, city agencies, and EAG, and provided 150 reflective backpacks to
local students. These backpacks were purchased from DontGetHit.com through a
grant from State Farm and feature reflectors on the back, sides, and straps,
allowing wearers to be seen from 360 degrees. Reflectors can quadruple the
distance at which pedestrians can be spotted by car drivers. Because backpacks
are worn almost daily, there is no need to put on any special gear or remind
children to use it, making this a smart safety item. In addition, backpacks are
items that many working-class parents in the Excelsior neighborhood have
trouble affording; therefore, this project was able to address both educational
and safety needs at once.
For health and environmental reasons,
children are being encouraged to walk and bike to and from school or afterschool
programs. However, many commute in the dark during the winter months, or travel
during rainy or foggy weather, when visibility is poor. This is the time that
pedestrian collisions increase significantly—up to seven times—making it
imperative that efforts are made to improve drivers’ ability to see them. This
is especially true for the many children that walk home by themselves, facing
high-risk intersections and heavy traffic.
The event was part of Excelsior Action Group’s “Be Seen, Be
Safe” program which provides free reflectors and bike lights at events
throughout the year, and raises awareness of the importance of wearing reflective
material for improved visibility. For more information or to make a donation to
this important program, please visit www.eagsf.org.