Wristband bright safety idea for sight-impaired

Visual Impairment Charitable Trust Aotearoa trustee Dr Lynley Hood displays Vizbands in the...
Visual Impairment Charitable Trust Aotearoa trustee Dr Lynley Hood displays Vizbands in the Dunningham Suite of the Dunedin Public Library yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
An initiative to make vulnerable pedestrians stand out in the crowd was launched in Dunedin yesterday.

The high-visibility wristbands, called Vizbands, were developed by Visual Impairment Charitable Trust Aotearoa (Victa) to help pedestrians with failing eyesight remain active, independent and safe.

''There are a lot of active, independent people in our community with failing eyesight,'' Victa trustee Dr Lynley Hood said at the launch in the Dunningham Suite of the Dunedin Public Library.

''Over the past five years, an average of 17, mainly older, pedestrians have been killed or seriously injured on Dunedin roads each year.''

The Vizbands were a unique initiative, Associate Prof Gordon Sanderson, of the Dunedin Medical School ophthalmology department, said.

''This sort of intervention is so unusual it will be difficult to prove it works. But it is going to make a huge difference,'' he said.

A group of 30 sight-impaired Dunedin people were given free samples at the launch.

''They're a very good idea,'' one recipient, Jean Young (90), said.

''It's hard for me to see red cars and black cars. Everybody should be driving yellow cars, I think.''

Vizbands are on sale for $10 a pair.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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