Ahead of ‘National Be Safe Be Seen Day’, tomorrow, Tuesday December 21, the shortest day of the year, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána are calling on all road users to be safe on the road by being seen.

Drivers of all vehicles, including tractors, are being urged to use their dipped headlights during the day if they do not have Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

If your vehicle does have daytime running lights the RSA advises to make sure to turn on your dipped head lights at lighting up time, as daytime running lights are not suitable or safe to use at night-time.

Other advice is to make sure your lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plate lighting are clean and in good working order so that you can see clearly and be seen at all times.

Pedestrians, especially those in rural areas with no street lighting, are advised to wear bright clothing or wear reflective material at dusk and at night. Consider carrying a torch or use the torch on a mobile phone.

Cyclists are reminded that at night you must a have a white light to the front and a red light to the back on your bicycle.

Road users urged to be cautious

Sam Waide, chief executive officer of the RSA said: ‘National Be Safe, Be Seen Day’ aims to remind people of the importance of being seen at a time of the year when road users will be using the road during more hours of darkness.

“Using dipped headlights and keeping vehicle lights clean are ways drivers can ensure they can see and be seen.

“However, they also need to slow down at night or poor light conditions as pedestrians and cyclists can be difficult to see in the dark, particularly if you must deal with the glare of oncoming lights.

“Between 2016 and 2020, 64% of fatal pedestrian collisions happened in hours of darkness.”

Chief superintendent, Michael Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau added: “With reduced hours of daylight and reduced visibility brought on by poor weather in winter, you really need to do all you can to be seen on the road, whether you are a driver, cyclist or pedestrian.

“At this time of year drivers need to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy and able to cope with the conditions. This means ensuring tyres are not worn below the legal limit of 1.8mm and inflated to the correct tyre pressure.

“Wind screen wipers should also be checked to make sure they are not worn and should be replaced if they are. Check the lights on your vehicle to make sure they are working and clean,” the chief superintendent concluded.