‘Using earphones on country roads could be lethal’: Gardaí urge people to be aware of surroundings

‘Using earphones on country roads could be lethal’: Gardaí urge people to be aware of surroundings

Last week, gardaí and the RSA came together to urge all road users to take care this month, as last February was the most deadly month on Irish roads last year.

GARDAÍ are warning people about the dangers of wearing headphones while cycling or walking on country roads.

The warning comes as people are confined to exercising within 5km of their homes during the ongoing level 5 restrictions.

Crime prevention officer for Cork North, Sergeant John Kelly, said there are a lot of walkers and cyclists now on country roads where there is no footpath.

“You have to be aware of your surroundings on country roads,” he said.

“If you have earphones in your ears, you will not hear something coming.

“Wearing headphones on country roads where there is no footpath could be lethal.”

He urged walkers and cyclists to wear high- visibility clothing and to carry a light.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) advises:

  • Never cross at a bend;
  • If there is a footpath use it;
  • If there is no footpath, walk/run/jog on the right-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic and keeping as close as possible to the side of the road;
  • Walk no more than two abreast and if the road is narrow or there is heavy traffic, walk in single file;
  • At night, always wear a pair of reflective armbands, high-visibility belt or other reflective or fluorescent clothing;
  • Carry a torch on country roads.

Last week, gardaí and the RSA came together to urge all road users to take care this month, as last February was the most deadly month on Irish roads last year.

Six pedestrians were killed last February across the country.

“I am appealing to all drivers to slow down, expect the unexpected, and be mindful of vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists,” said Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman. 

“Pedestrians and cyclists can ensure their safety too, by carrying a torch and wearing high visibility clothing so that they are visible to others.”

She also highlighted the increase in pedestrians and cyclists on the roads during the pandemic.

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