30 January 2021
By Elaine Murphy
‘Heads Up’, a new pedestrian safety awareness campaign from Cork County Council, is promoting safe practices for road users across Cork County.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Mary Linehan Foley said,
“Tragically in the last year we have lost eight pedestrians on our roads here in County Cork. In 2020 more and more of us have been getting our exercise and fresh air on our roads, walking, cycling and so on. While responsibility lies with motorists to ensure they drive safely, slow down and expect the unexpected, as vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists also need to exercise additional caution on our county roads. Follow the Safe Cross Code, walk on the right & cycle on the left, wear a Hi-Viz and/or carry a torch when out during the hours of dusk or darkness. Our roads are a shared space and we can all do our part to make them that bit safer.”
In Ireland, pedestrians aged over 65 are more likely to be killed or seriously injured on the road while young men aged 17 to 24 are also highly at risk. Cork County Council’s Road Safety Office found in a recent observation of 25 pedestrians/cyclists, in a rural County Cork area, only 2 people were lit up. At dusk visibility is poor and this is an extremely high-risk time on the road. Pedestrians are 300 times more visible at dusk or in the dark when wearing hi viz vests.
‘Heads Up’ aims to remind people that increasing visibility and avoiding distraction are key to staying safe on our roads.
Mayor Linehan continued,
“We’re all tempted to multitask at times, but distraction can be dangerous, texting for example reduces our ability to recognise potential dangers. You just won’t see what’s going on around you if you’re looking down, so our road safety message is ‘Heads Up’ for safety. Pay attention to your surroundings and wear a Hi-Viz when out walking and do encourage others to do the same. Drivers should slow down, always expect the unexpected and look out for the safety of elderly, vulnerable and all road users.”
Cork County Council’s Road Safety Office has also produced a Pedestrian Crossing Education Leaflet available from www.corkcoco.ie and community Road Safety workshops are available online by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi-Viz vests are available to order free of charge from the Road Safety Authority website www.rsa.ie