Be Daylighted and Help Make Westport the Brightest town in Mayo this Winter
The Road Safety Office of Mayo County Council, Westport Smarter Travel and Green-Schools Ireland are appealing to people to make sure they are visible on the roads this winter and to think about the weather and light conditions and reflect these in how you drive, cycle or walk this winter.
To raise awareness around the importance of visibility Westport schools are holding Daylighted Day fancy dress competition with their students this Friday, October 24th. Sir Walk-A-Lot will be visiting the schools and will choose a Daylighted winner and runner-ups in the schools.
The clocks go back on Sunday October 26th, and schools and employers are urged to plan their Daylighted Day to coincide with this time of year when it gets darker earlier and there's a heightened risk to people on foot and bike. “We want to raise awareness of the importance of wearing Hi-viz clothing when out walking and cycling and for drivers to use dipped lights when driving during the day.” Noel Gibbons, Mayo Road Safety Officer
Daylighted Day is a fun and simple way to get a whole community talking about road safety, with all members of the community encouraged to wear excessively bright and high-visibility clothing to work and school and in turn helping to raise awareness on how being Daylighted helps prevent serious injuries and fatalities on our roads.
“Safety is of prime importance whenever you walk or ride, however, in the winter months there are some specific issues you need to prepare for. Visibility is a significant area to consider. With reduced daylight hours you are often cycling and walking in the dark”. Eva McIntyre, Green-Schools Travel Education Officer
Here are some tips to ensure you are seen:
• Wear bright clothing with reflective strips or a reflective vest.
• Add a pair of reflective bands around your ankles and wrists. The ankle bands will always be in motion and the wrist bands will make your signals more visible.
• Equip your bike with LED lights both front and rear. Adding a solid white light (to light your path) on the front is a good option too.
• Add a reflector and/or reflective tape to your bike in case your light doesn’t work. Adding some reflective tape to the sides of your bike will also help to make you more visible from the side.
Noel Gibbons, Mayo Road Safety Officer has some particular advice for drivers this winter. "Drivers should ensure that their windows and lights are clean at all times to enable them to see what is happening around them. A good rule of thumb is to turn on dipped headlights whenever the windscreen wipers are on. Being seen is as important as seeing. Remember have your tyres at the correct pressure so your stopping distance is not increased. Regular servicing can help make sure your car is fit for darker and wetter conditions and in turn increases safety when sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians."
Be Safe Be Seen - Top Tips
• Make sure you can be easily seen, especially at night, on dark days and in bad weather.
• Bright or fluorescent clothes show up best by day, even in dull or misty weather.
• In the dark, reflective material is best and shows up in car headlights - remember fluorescent clothing doesn't work after dark. You can put reflective tape on your coat or school bag to help you be seen by drivers.
• It is against the law to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back, so make sure that your bike is properly equipped and working.
• Cross the road at the safest place possible e.g. zebra, pelican and patrolled crossings. Remember to use the safe Cross Code: Stop, Look, Listen, Live.
• If you're out at night, choose routes that are well-lit by streetlights and cross the road at well-lit places.
• If there is no pavement and you have to walk on the road, always face the oncoming traffic - this is particularly important in poor light or in the dark.
• Find out about 'walking buses' where children walk in groups and are more visible by contacting your child's school or your local council.