Photo, from left to right: aldermen Nathalie Delva, Pascal Sticker and Celine Mouton, mayor Peter Roose, Matthieu Pacco of site developer ION and alderman Jan Verfaillie.
The dark winter months are just around the corner, so as a vulnerable road user you should make sure you are well visible. The City of Veurne, ION, the developer of Suikerpark, and WVI (the West Flanders intermunicipal association) are ensuring that pupils at nurseries and primary schools can commute to school safely with eye-catching high-visibility vests.
High-visibility vests make you more visible in traffic as other road users tend to see you much faster if you wear fluorescent clothing or accessories. During the day, fluorescent colours stand out more than other colours. In the blue light of dusk, high-visibility vests stand out even more, and in the dark, the reflective parts ensure you are visible from 150 metres away. All the pupils of the nurseries and primary schools of Veurne have been given a high-visibility vest each.The high-visibility vest is an idea of ION, the developer of the Suikerpark site. Matthieu Pacco, Senior Project Developer at ION, explains, "This idea is the result of a brainstorming session of some ION employees. At Suikerpark, we want to create a sustainable neighbourhood that is a pleasant and lively place to live, surrounded by nature but only a stone's throw from the historical centre. In order to create a site of the highest possible quality, we have tried to promote cycling as much as possible. Therefore, we will install both public and private bicycle sheds. Some shared bikes will also be available on site and there will be a charging point for electric bikes. This way, we aim to stimulate bicycle use at Suikerpark. Of course we want people to use their bicycles safely, hence the idea of distributing high-visibility vests. It’s a way to promote bicycle use and at the same time showcase everything Suikerpark has to offer."
The design of the high-visibility vests is the result of a drawing competition organised in all primary schools in Veurne. Brent Couvreur of Het Talent in Houtem won that competition and his drawing is now printed on all the vests.
ION is responsible for the development, production and financing of this initiative. As part of this project, 1,000 vests were distributed in all the nurseries and primary schools of Veurne.