Wednesday, 8 May 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1275. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if it is compulsory for cyclists and walkers using rural roads to wear high-visibility safety gear; if not, if he will consider a change in the legislation for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18652/19]
The use of high visibility clothing by vulnerable road users it is not required by law as my Department does not consider the introduction of such a law to be a workable approach.
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 what procedure would be put in place for the processing of such offences.
I believe that the wearing of such clothing is best pursued by way of educational and publicity campaigns run by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) rather than by pursuing a punitive approach to the issue.
Indeed, the RSA, which has responsibility for the promotion of road safety awareness, advertising and the dissemination of road safety information, has already undertaken a number of campaigns to promote awareness among pedestrians and cyclists of the need for visibility on our roads.
Almost four million high visibility vests, armbands, rucksack covers and other such items have been distributed by the RSA, an Garda Síochána, 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 preferably high-visibility, clothing.
I have no plans to introduce legislation on this matter.