The dark dangers of the winter season Published Feb. 23, 2007 By Maj. Jon Counsell 7th Air Force Safety Office OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Fall is my favorite season. The leaves are starting to change colors, temperatures are cooling off and the skies are often clear. But with these changes come longer periods of darkness. More hours of darkness create safety challenges for workers, school children, cyclists and joggers. All of us have noticed the sun rising later and setting earlier. Our journeys to and from work are occurring more often under the veil of darkness. Therefore, it's crucial that all Airmen make sure they are wearing their reflective belts over their uniform and on their backpacks. It's not only smart, it's Osan base policy. If you see someone without their Personal Protective Equipment, it's your responsibility to remind them to put it on. Be a leader, speak up! Your journeys around base probably take you near the schools at times. It is important to realize students are walking to school during early morning and in the evening for extracurricular activities. You need to be on the lookout because they are probably not thinking about you. A lot of bicyclists here are riding bikes without headlights and taillights. These lights are vital so vehicles, pedestrians and others can see you, not to mention they are required along with your reflective vest and helmet. Runners and walkers also benefit greatly from wearing reflective belts. If your workout routine takes you out along the golf course, there are no area lights along the road. That reflective belt and your attention to your surroundings are your only lines of defense. The coming of fall and its darkness does not mean the end of outdoor activities in Korea, it just means you have to be even more aware of safety and use your PPE! When you see someone without their PPE, speak up. The life you save today may be the one you need tomorrow to help you accomplish the mission. Be seen and be safe!