Following the alarming number of fatal accidents on the roads in recent weeks, Councillor Joe Leahy is urging people to make sure that they are visible when using our roads.
“Many of the victims who were tragically killed over the festive period were pedestrians. We are currently in the middle of winter, with daylight hours reduced to between 8.30am and 4.30pm. Obviously many of us need to be out and about before and after these times –collecting children from school, returning home from work, visiting other family members or from shopping in town. Joggers and cyclists are often out at these times and farmers may have to tend to animals in roadside fields. Frequently we leave our home in daylight without thinking about how dark it will be when we are returning home. Mistakenly, we often assume that because we can see oncoming traffic the motorists can also see us. Unfortunately this is not always true, especially if we are wearing dark clothing” cautioned Councillor Leahy, who is urging people to “be safe and be seen”.
High visibility vests and jackets, fluorescent armbands and reflective belts all help to make the vulnerable pedestrian or cyclist visible to other road users. The County Council have already distributed reflective vests to children in several schools across the county and may also be able to assist local community groups who can contact them on 052-6134532. These items are also readily available in sports shops and hardware stores and are not expensive.
As well as asking people to wear reflective clothing when using our roads in the dark, Councillor Leahy is also advising cyclists to check that the lights on their bicycles are working (red light on the rear, white in front), and suggests that walkers on country roads carry a torch to ensure that they can see and be seen.
“These simple measures can protect you and your family from the devastating tragedies that have visited too many Irish homes this Christmas”, he said. “We can all reduce the risks with some very simple steps. It is all about making yourself visible – Be Safe, Be Seen and look forward to a safer New Year for you and your family”.