Road users advised to take extra care as clocks go back

Date published: 26 October 2017

As the clocks go back this weekend the Department for Infrastructure is advising all road users to be extra attentive on the roads.

Road Safety - pedestrians at night

Over the last five years the period from November to February has seen a higher proportion of road fatalities during the hours of darkness than any other four month stretch – 46% of fatalities in that period were as a result of collisions that took place in darkness; this compares with 29% for March to June and 32% for July to October.

Lynda Hurley, Head of Safe and Sustainable Travel Promotion and Outreach, Department for Infrastructure said:  “We know that when travelling in the dark, it can be more difficult to see those with whom we share the road.  As the clocks go back with the end of summertime, the Department is urging all road users to be vigilant and to pay attention in the worsening weather conditions and the deteriorating light.”

The best advice for road users is:

  • To be mindful of the changing conditions and adjust the way we drive, ride, cycle or walk to ensure it is appropriate for the conditions.
  • Be safe, be seen – pedestrians, cyclists, and horse-riders should consider wearing fluorescent by day and reflective by night.
  • Drivers should slow down and pay attention, especially around schools buses, when children are likely to be boarding or alighting. 

Lynda Hurley continued:  “As drivers, our visibility decreases and stopping distances therefore must increase in winter months. We should adjust our speed and think about how the conditions affect more vulnerable road users.

“We should be extra observant for people walking, cycling and riding a motorbike – they are much more difficult to see, particularly in the dark.

“As pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists we should take extra precautions to ensure we increase our own visibility to drivers by wearing bright or contrasting clothing by day and reflective clothing at night.

“Collectively, we have the ability to reduce road casualties. We all have a personal responsibility; to ourselves and to other road users.  Remember – Respect Everyone’s Journey”.

Notes to editors: 

  1. In 2016, 35% of all road deaths and 36% of serious injuries were as a result of collisions that took place in the dark.      
  2. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk  Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
  3. See photos from the Department for Infrastructure in our Flickr collection:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/collections    
  4. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and view DfI's latest road safety TV ads at www.sharetheroadtozero.com/tv/

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