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27/10/2016 - Appeal for Road Safety as clocks go back


Appeal for Road Safety as clocks go back and winter time begins



With the clocks due to go back signalling the return to winter time and darker evenings, the Donegal Road Safety Working Group is appealing to all road users especially cyclists and pedestrians to stay safe and be seen.



Already this year, 157 people have lost their lives on our roads, an increase of 31 on the same period in 2015. 10 people have died in Donegal and many more have been seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Ireland.



The sad reality is that many of these deaths and serious injuries could have been avoided. Our message is very simple but important. Always wear a hi-viz jacket to be seen if you are walking, running, cycling or riding a motorbike. Slow down if you are a driver, especially when sharing the road with vulnerable road users. Every driver and passenger has to wear a seat belt, front and rear on every trip and ensure children are properly restrained. Do not drive while being distracted by a mobile phone, never drive while impaired, whether through drink, drugs or driver fatigue and pay attention to what is happening when you are using the road. Cyclists must use front and rear lights and reflectors and we also stress the importance of them wearing a helmet.



We would also urge all motorists to check and ensure their vehicles are fit for winter. Tyres must be in good condition and meet the legal requirement. A defective tyre could lead to a serious accident. All lights must be clean, working and correctly adjusted. Remember to use dipped headlights when driving in poor weather. Our advice is that if your vehicle wipers are switched on, so should your dipped headlights. If you have fog lights, use them when the weather is foggy, but remember it is illegal to use these lights at other times. Listen to the weather and travel advice on the news and if needs be, leave extra time to ensure that you arrive safely.



We all need to play our part in road safety, especially as it gets darker earlier and we adjust to driving longer periods in the dark. Road users must accept responsibility, to think about their actions on the roads and modify their driving to cope with the changeable weather conditions. Similarly, pedestrians and cyclists need to stay safe and always be seen.



Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer said “We are all concerned at the increase in the number of people being killed on our roads this year to date and the continued loss of lives serves as a reminder to us all that using the road is the most dangerous thing we do each day. With clocks going back this weekend, which will result in darker evenings, I would appeal to all road users to take greater care when using the road. Always be seen by wearing reflective clothing if out walking or cycling and I would appeal to motorists to please use dipped headlights at all times, wear your seatbelt and slow down. We all need to be aware too that the changing weather will make for dangerous road conditions so it is vitally important that we all take responsibility for our driving behaviour if we are going to stop the current increase of serious injury and death on our roads.”



Appeal for Road Safety as clocks go back and winter time begins



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