31/10/2016

Road Users Urged To 'Be Safe And Be Seen' As Darker Nights Set In

Road users have been urged to 'be safe and be seen' following the clocks going back by one hour over the week.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are urging road-users to ensure they can be clearly seen when out on the roads as its begins to get darker at night-time. People are encouraged to wear high visibility clothing such as a high vis vest or a Sam Browne belt when walking, cycling or motorcycling and by ensuring you have working lights on your bicycle, motorcycle and car.

The RSA highlighted a study conducted in November 2015 that monitored the high visibility wearing rates of 3,990 motorcyclists and 17,637 pedal cyclists. The study found that:

• 58% of motorcyclists were observed wearing high visibility clothing, an increase of 21% when compared to 2014

• 50% of pedal cyclists were observed wearing high visibility clothing, an increase of 20% on 2014 wearing rates

• Wearing rates were more prevalent among private cyclists (54%) than cyclists using public bike schemes (33%)

• 80% of all pedal cyclists had some reflective material on them.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, said: "The evenings will get much darker, so it is even more important that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists wear high visibility clothing when out on the road. Don't put your life, or the lives of others, at risk by making it difficult for other road-users to see you."

The RSA also conducted a survey of the attitudes and behaviours of over 1,000 road-users towards wearing high visibility clothing. Over one third (41%) of pedestrians said they always or often wear reflective gear such as a high visibility jacket, vest or belt when out walking. This was a decrease of 8% when compared to 2014.

The survey also found that those living in rural areas were more likely to wear high visibility gear than those in urban areas – 43% vs. 16%.

Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: "It is very encouraging to see that high visibility wearing rates are increasing among motorcyclists and cyclists. It really is critical that road-users ensure they are visible to others on the road, every time they go out for a walk, cycle or on the bike. Don't leave it to chance or expect other road-users to see you - it might be too late before they do.

"For parents and guardians, if your child walks or cycles to school, make sure they can be seen by ensuring they wear reflective clothing and have working lights on their bicycle. If your child gets the bus to school, it's also important that they can be seen at the bus stop by the bus driver and other road-users."

The RSA and An Garda Síochána are also urging motorists to ensure their lights are in working order.

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, An Garda Síochána said: "Driving a vehicle with defective lights is extremely dangerous and unacceptable. In simple terms, other road-users could mistake a vehicle with only one working light for a motorcycle or bicycle. It could also impair your ability to see pedestrians on the roads.

"As winter approaches, it is vital that we take proper care of our vehicles. That means fixing problems as soon as they happen and taking care to ensure our vehicles are in proper roadworthy condition, at all times."

(MH/LM)

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