Operation to reduce collisions as clocks go back

Posted in Connect on October 29, 2019.

Under a new initiative jointly promoted by Mayo County Council and An Garda Siochana – Hi Viz vests will be distributed to stations right around the County.
Gardai on mobile patrol will stop and hand out vests to pedestrians and cyclists who are not properly visible at night-time, according to Mr Kevin Gately, Community Engagement Superintendent.

Officers will also be carrying out roadside checks throughout the next two weeks focusing on defect offences involving lights, tyres, windscreens and screen wash and anything else which may impact on the roadworthiness of a vehicle.

The aim is educate drivers about the risks of driving with defective vehicles while also enforcing offences where appropriate.

It is crucial when using the road at night-time that you are seen. As always, we urge people to wear high-visibility vests, reflective bands, and carry a torch, he said.

Now Gardai will also be carrying high-visibility vests in the Garda cars that their officers can give out to people they encounter on the road who are not properly lit up. Its all part of trying to reduce the number of road deaths in the county.

Mr Kevin Gately Community Engagement Superintendent An Garda Siochana said: “We often see a rise in collisions at this time of year which can be due to a number of factors including lighting defects, poorer weather conditions and people not used to driving in the dark.

“When the lighting outside changes, drivers often fail to look properly, this can lead to a rise in collisions. This operation is about raising awareness among all road users to prevent these incidents from happening.

“As part of this operation we will be checking the safety of vehicles, educating all road users and enforcing the law where necessary and appropriate.

“If you drive a car with one headlight out you are effectively reducing your visibility by half and the chances of being seen are a lot slimmer.

“It is important to make sure your vehicle is fit for winter conditions; make sure lights and windscreen wipers are working, that your tyres have sufficient tread and regularly top up the windscreen wash.”

“We advise drivers to watch their speed, keep a good distance between you and the car in front, and take time to look out for other road users, cyclists and pedestrians be safe be seen”

Noel Gibbons, Mayo County Council Road Safety Officer said “As the days get shorter and the evenings draw-in we should all be a little more aware of our personal safety and this includes keeping ourselves safe on the road too.

“As the clocks go back this weekend,  I’d like to remind all drivers to take a few extra minutes to do some basic checks to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy. Checking tyres, lights and windscreen wipers will make a real difference to keeping you safe this winter and if your heading out on your bike or walking make yourself visible. We are also appealing to motorists to give themselves five minutes extra when making any journey, knowing that you have plenty of time to complete your journey will help you to relax and avoid the temptation to push your speed.”

The vests have been distributed to stations in Ballina, Belmullet, Castlebar, Claremorris, Swinford and Westport Garda divisions.

Mr Kevin Gately Community Engagement Superintendent also warned motorists to be vigilant while driving on the road at night-time as this time of year also see a lot of wild life on rural roads such as deer.

We are delighted Gardai are handing out the high-visibility vests because it helps to hammer home our Be Safe, Be Seen message

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