166. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there are penalties in cases (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44342/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Garda authorities that it is not an offence for individuals to not wear high visibility clothing when walking in the dark.
As the Deputy may be aware, S.I. 182/1997 Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations 1997, as substituted by Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2012 include Rules for Pedestrians (Article 46). These rules include that a pedestrian shall exercise care and take all reasonable precautions in order to avoid causing danger or inconvenience to traffic and other pedestrians.
It is also part of the work of the Roads Safety Authority (RSA) to help provide a safe environment for all road users and promote the efficient use of our road network.
The RSA also works toward promoting good safety habits among all road users, and the Deputy will be familiar with RSA campaigns such as ‘Be Safe Be Seen’ which highlights the importance of using high visibility clothing when using our roads. There is no question that wearing bright or reflective clothes makes it easier for a person to be seen from greater distances and gives drivers more time to adjust their course.
I would encourage all road users, particularly our young and most vulnerable in society, to wear high visibility clothing in dark conditions. The reality is that this simple, but very important act can prevent serious accidents.