In 1950 ́s Arvi Lehti, a farmer from Pertteli village (Finland) rode his horse and carriage. It was dark. Suddenly a horrible accident happened. A car came from behind the carriage and the driver did not see it. The car hit the carriage and the horse. -The horse died.- The farmer lost his partner at work and a dear friend. Farmer’s stable became empty and he grieved for a while. Then he got a bright idea in deed! He knew how similar accidents could be avoided. He built an injection molding machine in the empty stable and started to produce reflective bricks that could be installed behind horse carriages. The bricks reflected light on car head lights so bright that car drivers could see the carriages in time to slow down and pass by safely.
Same time pedestrian accident rates in Finland were bad. Police and former Finnish Traffic Safety Association got interested of the reflective bricks and asked if Arvi Lehti and his TALousMUovi company could make them for pedestrians as well. Arvi Lehti glued two reflective bricks together, hanged it with a string and safety pin on a jacket. That was the first TALMU pedestrian reflector. It moved freely while he walked and the movement caused a flash to driver’s eyes. It was effective, easy to see even from afar. Traffic Safety association decided to donate hundreds of thousands of reflectors to children at schools. It was also that time when the famous Snowflake reflector was designed by Kalervo Suomela. Later the Snowflake reflector has been named as one of Finnish classic products.
Today more than half of the population in Finland is using high quality reflectors and pedestrian accident rate has dramatically dropped from those days. The original brand TALMU got to be known of its liability as a safety equipment. The glittering factory in Laitila, Finland is still producing the classic Snowflake and many beautiful new reflectors under most strict quality control. The reflectors are further designed and distributed by Safety Reflector Finland Oy. So far over 100 million reflectors have been sent all over the world. With constantly increasing traffic the risk of pedestrians being involved in an accidents is also increasing. Reflectors should be available for all, don ́t you think?