All Garda cars in Co Mayo are to carry a stock of high-visibility vests to be given out to poorly-lit pedestrians and cyclists in a novel bid to reduce the county’s road death toll.
Under the initiative – jointly promoted by Mayo County Council and An Garda Síochána - a total of 1,000 vests, which were provided by the Road Safety Authority, have been distributed to stations around the county.
Gardaí on mobile patrol will stop and hand out vests to pedestrians and cyclists who are not properly visible at night-time, according to Castlebar Garda Superintendent Willie Keaveney.
“It is crucial when using the road at night-time that you are seen. As always, we urge people to wear high-visibility vests, reflective bands, and carry a torch,” he said.
“Now we will also be carrying high-visibility vests in the Garda cars that our officers can give out to people they encounter on the road who are not properly lit up. It’s all part of trying to reduce the number of road deaths in the county.”
The vests have been distributed to stations in Ballina, Belmullet, Castlebar, Claremorris, Swinford, and Westport Garda divisions.
Supt Keaveney also warned motorists to be vigilant while driving on the road at night-time.
Said Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council: “Already in 2010, 33 pedestrians and three pedal cyclists have been killed on roads around Ireland. We are delighted gardaí are handing out the high-visibility vests because it helps to hammer home our Be Safe, Be Seen message.”