Photo: Brian McDaid
The Donegal Road Safety Working Group (DRSWG) is appealing to all road users to exercise extreme caution as the clocks go back by an hour and winter time begins this weekend.
Summertime officially ends on Sunday morning, as the time observed by Ireland goes back by 1 hour.
The DRSWG is advising pedestrians, runners, walkers and cyclists to be safe and be seen by, wearing high visibility material and carrying a torch. Cyclists need to ensure that their bicycle lights are working and that they are wearing a helmet.
Road users are urged to ensure that their vehicles are fit for winter. Tyres must be in good condition and meet the legal requirement. All lights must be clean, working and correctly adjusted. Always use dipped headlights when driving in poor weather conditions.
The Road Safety Officer, Brian O’Donnell, said: "Using the roads is the most dangerous thing that we do every day and yet very few of us appreciate that. You are only ever one slip of concentration away from disaster which can change lives forever.”
The officer urged all cyclists to be weather aware and to get proper lights.
He said: "A large number of people drive and cycle and therefore are fully aware that a cyclist without lights or high viz clothing on a dark, wet evening is virtually impossible to see. It is true that the driver bears the greater responsibility as they can do the most damage, but cyclists also need to be sensible. For starters, that means ensuring that there are lights on your bicycle and for all our sake wear high viz clothing.
People who are walking and running are asked to ensure that they are visible to road users.
Mr O'Donnell said: “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.”
To date in 2018, 120 people have lost their lives on our roads, a decrease of 4 on the same period in 2017 and 9 people have died in Donegal and many more have been seriously injured in road traffic collisions.