As the clocks go back this weekend, longer periods of darkness in the mornings and evenings, alongside worsening weather conditions, the Donegal Road Safety Working Group is urging all road users and pedestrians to stay safe and be seen.
Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer said: “Already this year 9 people have lost their lives and many more have been seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Donegal.
“Our message is simple; slow down, wear your seatbelt, pay attention to what is happening around you, never use a mobile phone while driving and never drive after drinking or taking drugs. With longer hours of darkness and winter weather, we all need to work together to keep people safe. Road users need to look out for children, pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists should wear bright clothing, reflective jackets or armbands where possible to ensure they can be seen. Cyclists should wear a helmet and must use front and rear lights and reflectors.
“I would also urge all road users to check and ensure their vehicles are fit for winter. Tyres must be in good condition and meet the legal requirement of 1.6mm. A defective tyre at best could lead to a fine and penalty points on your licence, at worst it could result in catastrophic consequences.
“All lights should be clean, working and correctly adjusted. Remember to use dipped headlights when driving in poor weather. Our advice is that if your vehicle wipers are switched on, so should your dipped headlights.
“We all need to play our part in road safety, especially as we head into darker evenings. Road users must accept their responsibility to think about their actions on the roads and modify their driving to cope with weather conditions. Similarly, pedestrians and cyclists need to see and be seen. We would appeal to everyone to stay safe and look out for each other.”