29/10/2004

DoE issue driving warning as clocks go back

As the clocks go back this weekend, marking the end of summer, the DoE has reminded road users to keep death off the roads during the darker hours.

Research shows that deaths on local roads increase over the darker winter months. During March to August (1997-2001) the numbers killed and seriously injured totalled 4,327, while during the September to February period this figure increased to 4,500.

Additionally, child pedestrians and cyclists killed and seriously injured between 3pm and 6pm during October to March (1998-2002) totalled 137 compared to the same period between 1998-2002 when the total rose to 308.

DoE’s Chief Road Safety Education Officer, Harry Green, said: "On average 61 children are killed or seriously injured annually on our roads during the winter months. The highest level of child deaths and serious injuries occurs between 3 o’clock, the end of the school day for many primary schools, and 6 o’clock in the evening.

"As winter closes in, we all have a responsibility to pay attention to the worsening weather conditions and deteriorating light.

"It is important that drivers slow down and pay attention, particularly while overtaking buses. Look out especially for children who might be boarding or alighting school transport. Children too need to be vigilant and parents should ensure that their children wear bright or reflective clothing or armbands.”

(MB/GMCG)

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