Today is ‘National Be Safe Be Seen Day’ Friday 21 December, and it is also the shortest day of the year.
The Road Safety Authority highlight the aims of the ‘National Be Safe, Be Seen Day’ is to remind people of the importance of wearing high visibility material when out walking, cycling or motorcycling and encourages the public to do so throughout the year, but especially on the shortest day of the year and during the winter months. Approximately two-thirds of fatal pedestrian collisions happen in hours of darkness.
To date this year (Thursday, 20 December), 143 people have died on Irish roads, 7 less than this time last year. Vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians, accounted for 4 in every 9 deaths with, 41 pedestrians, 14 motorcyclists and 9 cyclists killed on Irish roads so far, this year.
Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “So far this year more than a third of those killed on Irish roads have been a vulnerable road user. We are urging drivers to do their bit by turning on their dipped headlights during the day so they can be clearly seen and to slow down. It’s vital to slow down in order to allow enough time react to the presence of cyclists and pedestrians on the road. Research shows that a pedestrian hit by a car at 50km/h only has a 50% chance of survival, hit at 30km/h a pedestrian has a 90% chance of survival. We would also urge cyclists, pedestrians to wear reflective material such as a high-visibility vest, particularly on unlit rural roads. Hi visibility vests are free to order from rsa.ie.”
Earlier this year, the RSA and ESB Networks distributed free high visibility vests to every child starting primary school. Mr Liam Ring, Safety Health & Environment Manager, ESB Networks said: “ESB Networks are proud to support the ‘National Be Safe, Be Seen Day’ in partnership with the RSA. Safety awareness and practice is at the heart of everything we do, and in every community that we work in. At this time of year, we all have a part to play in ensuring that all road users are protected by wearing high visibility jackets such as those distributed by us to primary school children.”