The new chairman of the SPC for Roads and Transportation wants pedestrians who do not wear hi-vis clothing to be fined.
Cllr Brendan Mulroy called for a law to be introduced after hearing that 26 pedestrians have been killed on the country’s roads so far in 2017. The figures were discussed at last week’s meeting of the Roads and Transportation SPC, which Cllr Mulroy was chairing for the first time after succeeding his Fianna Fáil colleague Cllr Annie Mae Reape.
The Westport-based councillor said that with the earlier nightfalls he has noticed an increase in pedestrians walking along roads without hi-vis clothing, putting their lives and the lives of others in danger.
“It is an offence that we should be fining people for. If you are fined once, believe me, you won’t do it a second time. An on-the-spot fine should be [issued] to a person who is not lit up with oncoming traffic.
“We have gone beyond the stage where the onus is on the driver all the time. The onus is also on the pedestrian or the cyclist to make sure they are lit up. If this SPC delivers one thing it will be to deliver that. I would not be a great advocate for fining someone, but if does save a life I would have no difficulty with it,” he said.
Over the past four years almost four million high-visibility vests, armbands, rucksack covers and other such luminous items have been distributed by the RSA, An Garda Síochána, Road Safety Officers, Age Action and the Vintners’ Federation.
Cllr Mulroy added that the SPC members should lobby their Oireachtas members regardless of their political party to bring forward legislation that it would be an offence not to wear hi-vis clothing on unlit roads during the hours of darkness.
Mayo has one of the worst road safety records in the country for 2016, with only Dublin and Cork accounting for more road deaths.