The Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána are calling for increased caution and awareness of the importance of road safety this week, in anticipation of the Bank Holiday weekend.
In a statement released today, the RSA have urged road users to take extra precautions this weekend to ensure the safety of themselves and others, particularly through the use of high visibility clothing.
Over the past five years, October Bank Holiday weekend has seen six people killed and a further 33 seriously injured.
Cyclists and motorcyclists especially are reminded to “be safe and be seen”, as the clocks go back and the nights draw in.
Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said in a press release: “The evenings will get much darker from this weekend on, so it is even more important that pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists wear high visibility clothing when out on the road. Don’t put your life, or the lives of others, at risk by making it difficult for other road-users to see you.”
A study conducted by the RSA in November last year saw an overall increase in the use of hi-vis vests and clothing among road users.
50% of pedal cyclists claimed to regularly wear some form of reflective clothing, and 54% of motorcyclists did likewise, a 20% increase on the year before.
More than a third of pedestrians said that they always wear some form of highly visible clothing at night.
In a statement to Babylon Radio this afternoon, Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the RDA, said: “This year has been particularly bad for road deaths. Last year we had a very good year, with traffic-related deaths at the lowest on record. The number of road deaths for 2016 is already 32 ahead of this time last year.
32 more people have lost their lives on our roads, and we are appealing to all drivers and road users out there to be responsible, drivers in particular we’re asking to slow down because so many crashes involve excessive speed, and too many are involving alcohol as well.
It’s these unsafe behaviours that are killing people out there, and people can make a difference by slowing down, putting on a seatbelt, and not drinking before they drive.”
Dublin had the highest number of road deaths in Ireland last year, with a total of 17 people killed.