A Fianna Fail TD has asked the transport minister of any plans to make the wearing of high visibility clothing mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists — but the minister responded with a clear no and that said that “wearing of such safety clothing is a matter of personal responsibility”.
According to records held by KildareStreet.com, Niamh Smyth, a Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan, submitted the following parliamentary question: “To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to make the wearing of high visibility clothing mandatory for pedestrians and cyclists; the law in this regard at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”
The ministerial reply from the Department of Transport in the name of Shane Ross replied: “To create a statutory obligation on the wearing of reflective clothing would entail making it a criminal offence under Road Traffic legislation for any person guilty of not wearing high visibility clothing. A person in breach of such a provision would fall to be issued with a fixed charge notice or summonsed to court, depending on whatever procedure would be put in place for the processing of such offences. My Department is not considering making the wearing of hi-visibility vests a legal requirement.”
It added: “In my view, safety issues such as these are best addressed by way of educational and publicity campaigns, such as those undertaken by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), which has responsibility for the promotion of road safety awareness, advertising and the dissemination of road safety information. As part of this process it has undertaken a number of campaigns to promote awareness among pedestrians and cyclists of the need for visibility on our roads.”
“In addition, almost four million high visibility vests, armbands, rucksack covers and other such items have been distributed by the RSA, an Garda Siochana, Road Safety Officers, Age Action and the Vintners Federation over the past four years. A number of measures have also been included in the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 aimed at increasing the wearing of high visibility clothing among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The Rules of the Road also include a strong recommendation supporting the wearing of light, and prefereably high-visibility, clothing.”
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“Ultimately, however, the wearing of such safety clothing is a matter of personal responsibility,” said the written reply by Shane Ross.