As the weather turns warmer more people are exercising and playing outside. And with our roads and towns back to normal traffic conditions following the pandemic, walking and bicycle riding can be tricky while pedestrians must be more aware of their surroundings. That is why Phelps Hospital is doing its part to protect area residents.
As part of a safety initiative, Phelps Hospital is again collaborating with the Town of Greenburgh and several other local municipalities and police departments. The hospital has donated 7,500 safety reflectors since the initiative began in 2018, which includes the additional 2,500 safety reflectors to be distributed to local schools and organizations this spring. The armbands can be attached to bicycles, outerwear and backpacks to increase the visibility of pedestrians, runners and bike riders.
“We take care of people every day and try to improve the overall health of all who live in Westchester County and surrounding area,” said Eileen Egan, RN, executive director at Phelps Hospital. “This community-focused effort made sense. We want to be proactive about protecting the health and safety of the people we serve. These reflectors not only illuminate citizens on or near roadways, but also helps promote exercise, which is also important to improving health.”
The campaign, “Be Seen in Greenburgh,” started several years ago to help protect people out walking or kids playing outside at dusk or at night, but more reflectors were needed. A few years ago at least nine people were hit by cars in the Town of Greenburgh alone.
“Phelps has again provided safety reflectors, which is a fantastic public service to the community,” says Paul Feiner, supervisor of the Town of Greenburgh, one of the towns where the reflectors are being distributed. “Much of Westchester is not as pedestrian friendly as it could be, and we have many roads without sidewalks. In Greenburgh, it is a major problem. Unfortunately, a few years ago we had nine pedestrians struck by cars. We will distribute these reflectors to anyone we see out walking at night in dark clothing and to children playing outside at dusk.”
Greenburgh police will distribute safety reflectors to people they see out walking at night in dark outfits. In addition, Town of Greenburgh residents can pick up reflectors at the office of Supervisor Feiner at 177 Hillside Ave., White Plains or by calling 914-989-1540.
“Hopefully, this will create awareness about staying safe in the dark, and as a result, people may use the reflectors and start wearing lighter clothes or bringing along a flashlight when they go out walking at night,” said Mr. Feiner. “We hope this will motivate people to think of safety.”