Today December 21st is the shortest day of the year, and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are calling on the public to be safe on the road by being seen!
Drivers are being urged to use their dipped headlights during the day if they do not have Daytime Running Lights (DRL). If your vehicle does have daytime running lights make sure to turn on your dipped head lights at lighting up time as daytime running lights are not suitable or safe to use at night-time.
Make sure your lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plate lighting are clean and in good working order so that you can see clearly and be seen at all times.
Pedestrians, especially those in rural areas with no street lighting, are advised to wear bright clothing or wear reflective material at dusk and at night. Consider carrying a torch and don’t forget there’s one on your mobile phone.
Cyclists are reminded that at night you must a have a white light to the front and a red light to the back on your bicycle. These are the minimum lighting requirements laid down by law. However, to be even more visible to motorists at night, you should consider wearing a reflective armband, ‘Sam Browne’ reflective belt or reflective vest.
Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive Officer, Road Safety Authority said, ‘National Be Safe, Be Seen Day’ aims to remind people of the importance of being seen at a time of the year when road users will be using the road during more hours of darkness. Using dipped headlights and keeping vehicle lights clean are ways drivers can ensure they can see and be seen. However, they also need to slow down at night or poor light conditions as pedestrians and cyclists can be difficult to see in the dark, particularly if you must deal with the glare of oncoming lights. Between 2016 and 2020, 64%* fatal pedestrian collisions happened in hours of darkness.”
Chief Superintendent Michael Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said, “With reduced hours of daylight and reduced visibility brought on by poor weather in winter, you really need to do all you can to be seen on the road, whether you are a driver, cyclist or pedestrian. At this time of year drivers need to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy and able to cope with the conditions. This means ensuring tyres are not worn below the legal limit of 1.8mm and inflated to the correct tyre pressure. Wind screen wipers should also be checked to make sure they are not worn and should be replaced if they are. Check the lights on your vehicle to make sure they are working and clean.”
(Image courtesy RSA)