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Make 2021 A Brighter Year For Everyone - 'See And Be Seen'

Date: 17-12-2020

With a new year just around the corner the Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council has made a call to make 2021 a brighter year for everyone - 'See and be Seen' when people across the County will be getting involved in outdoor activities over the Christmas period and into the new year, advise is been issued to its participants.

Mayo County Council area engineering offices have been stocked with a limited number Hi Viz Vests to hand out free to road users who wish to acquire them on a first come -first served basis.

People are reminded dark coloured clothing and coats may look chic, but at night or on cloudy days, they can make pedestrians almost invisible. Every year in Ireland, the majority of pedestrian fatalities occur at night or in low-light hours, with a total of 27 pedestrians and 8 cyclists in 2019.

Improving visibility means improving safety. That’s why the road safety Department of Mayo County Council are urging pedestrians to 'See and be Seen' this New Year.

Wearing light colours or reflective clothing is one of the simplest things pedestrians can do to keep themselves safe, and Mayo County Council is asking the public to dig out the Hi Viz vest lying around the house, dust them down and use them.

Richard Finn Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council said: “With the shorter days and darker nights now here it is vitally important that all road users can be seen.  The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in more people cycling, running and walking which is great, but we need to keep all road users safe.

“Pedestrians can go unnoticed as they simply cannot be seen. By wearing reflective clothing or attaching light reflectors to bags or clothing accidents can be avoided and lives saved. You can even attach light reflectors to your dog’s lead to help you both be visible to other road users.

“Cyclist should have lights and reflectors on their bikes but can further enhance their visibility using additional reflectors.

“For drivers it is important that you carry out winter checks on your vehicles to make sure your tyres have sufficient tread and are correctly inflated, lights should be in good working order and remember to switch them on. ”

Pedestrians are also encouraged to follow these safety tips:

  1. Pretend you're invisible. Don’t assume a driver sees you. In fact, imagine that a driver can’t see you, and behave accordingly
  2. Plan your walk – location where little or no traffic
  3. Wear bright or reflective clothing or shoes when walking at night. Avoid dark clothes; drivers can't avoid what they can't see
  4. Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck;
  5. Unplug your ears. Avoid using or wearing headphones—you need to be able to hear approaching vehicles. If you do use headphones, run with the volume low and just one earbud in. Don't wear headphones or talk on a mobile phone while crossing the street
  6. Watch out for motorists’ blind spots. Watch the hills. When they crest hills, drivers' vision can suddenly be impaired by factors like sun glare or backdrops Remain alert! Don't assume that cars are going to stop
  7. Be aware of vehicles around you. Make eye contact with motorists before crossing paths. Watch for early birds and night owls. At odd hours be extra careful. Early in the morning and very late at night, people may be overtired and not as attentive
  8. Use footpaths whenever possible
  9. Look left, right and left again before crossing. Watch for turning cars.
  10. Check with your local sports partnership for official walks.

Motorists are also encouraged to follow these safety tips:

  1. Watch for pedestrians especially at night and early morning
  2. Expect and slow for pedestrians in popular walking areas
  3. Drive at cautious speeds in rainy weather and in low-light areas.

Noel Gibbons Road Safety Officer said: "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 light."

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