Road-users are being urged to ‘be safe and be seen’ as the clocks go back this weekend.
The Road Safety Authortiy & An Garda Síochána are urging pedestrians & cyclists to wear hi-visibility clothing while on the roads at the weekend, particularly on poorly-lit rural roads.
Ten people have been killed and 40 seriously injured in October Bank Holiday weekend crashes since 201.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána say that the most effective way to be safe this Bank Holiday weekend is to wear high visibility clothing such as a high visibility vest or a Sam Browne belt, or by carrying a torch and ensuring you have working lights on your bicycle or motorcycle.
A study conducted by the RSA in November 2016 monitored the high visibility wearing rates of 5,341 motorcyclists and 23,343 pedal cyclists.
The study found that 45% of motorcyclists are most likely to be wearing any form of High Visibility Clothing.
32% of all cyclists were wearing any form of High Visibility Clothing.
The wearing rate of any form of high visibility clothing for private pedal cyclists was 34% and for public pedal (bike rental scheme) cyclists it was recorded as 21%.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD said: “The evenings are getting darker and particularly so as the clocks going back this weekend, so it is vital that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are clearly visible to drivers, especially on dark unlit rural roads. That’s why I would urge people to wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch when out on the road.”
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said: “Pedestrians and cyclists can be difficult to see in the road traffic, especially at night and in dark weather conditions. Without wearing something reflective a pedestrian or cyclist is only likely to be visible 30 metres away, in low beam headlights.
“By wearing something reflective they become visible at 150 metres away. This gives drivers five times the distance to notice them and, more importantly, to avoid them. There really is no excuse for anyone to be out on the road without a high visibility jacket, especially when you can order one free of charge from the RSA website.”
Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, Roads Policing, said: “Although there is no legal obligation for pedestrians to wear high visibility clothing, it makes absolute sense.
“Wearing the high visibility clothing gives drivers the opportunity to see pedestrians and other vulnerable road user significantly earlier which is especially important on dark and on poorly lit roads.
“Bicycle lights, high visibility clothing and replacement bulbs cost a fraction of the fixed charge penalty that can be imposed. Please make sure all obligatory lights are working on you bicycle or any other vehicle that you are using.
“We cannot emphasis enough the importance of being able to see and as important to be seen.”