Donated vests keeping homeless visible following crash

Published: Dec. 5, 2016 at 6:05 PM AKST
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Two of Bean’s Café clients remain in serious condition and a third is in critical condition after being hit by a taxi cab on 3rd Avenue after sunset November 30th. “It was really upsetting, there was a large group of clients watching what was happening, crying about it people thought they were dead because no one was moving,” said Deputy Director Kim Kovol.

She called community and business partners looking for any way to make clients more visible. “So our effort here is to get them to be safe, and get well covered in reflective gear, that’s what we want to see so people can see them,” Kovol said.

On Monday 150 reflective vests, donated by Tote Maritime, were distributed to Bean’s Café Clients. An additional $5,000 was raised from the Alaska Injury Prevention Center and ConocoPhillips to purchase reflective tape. “It’s fantastic you come outside and what you normally see of black jackets and black coats, now you see spots of bright yellow, I mean how can you miss this color,” Kovol Said.

Representatives from the Alaska Injury Prevention Center presented safety tips as well, including:

-Walk facing traffic, not in the same direction.

-Only cross at cross walks.

-Look left, right and left again before crossing a street.

-Get the attention of the driver of a car before crossing in front of it.

-Wear bright and reflective clothing.

The Alaska Injury Prevention Center says historically, January is the most dangerous month for pedestrians in Anchorage. It says 20% of traffic fatalities in Alaska involve pedestrians.