Durkan advises caution on the roads as clocks go back

Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan who has released the findings of the Christopher Mills Report into waste disposal at Campsie and Mobuoy outside Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 18.12.68
Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan who has released the findings of the Christopher Mills Report into waste disposal at Campsie and Mobuoy outside Derry. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 18.12.68

Road Safety Minister Mark H Durkan has asked all road users to be extra attentive on the roads as the clocks go back this weekend.

Traditionally, the coming four months see more death and serious injury on our roads during darkness than any other four month stretch.

Mr Durkan said: “As the clocks go back with the end of summertime, I want to remind all road users to be extra vigilant during the darker hours and pay attention in the worsening weather conditions and the deteriorating light.

“During the last five years, the months November to February recorded a higher proportion of road fatalities happening during darkness than any other four month stretch. In 2013 40% of road deaths and 33% of serious injuries happened when it was dark.

“I therefore advise people to think about the changing conditions and reflect this in how you drive, ride, cycle or walk.

“For drivers, as visibility decreases, so do stopping distances increase in winter months. Adjust your speed and think about how the conditions affect more vulnerable road users. Slow down and pay attention, especially around schools buses, when children are likely to be boarding or alighting school transport.

“Be extra vigilant for people walking, cycling and riding a motorbike, they are much more difficult to see particularly in the dark.

“Pedestrians, including children, and cyclists and motorcyclists should take extra precautions by ensuring they increase their own visibility to drivers by wearing bright and reflective clothing.

“Collectively, the ability to reduce road casualties lies within each of us. We all have a personal responsibility; to ourselves, to other road users and to families across Northern Ireland. It is the actions of road users that cause the vast majority of collisions and resulting casualties. Remember – Respect Everyone’s Journey.”