Monaghan road users warned of new dangers in coming days

11 December 2010 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Following three road fatalities over the past 24 hours, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have issued a joint appeal, yesterday Wednesday 8th December 2010, to road-users to be extremely careful on the roads. Despite a forecast for an improvement in the weather conditions nationwide, the roads continue to be treacherous in most parts of the country.
Mr Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority appealed to road-users to take extreme care when driving: “There is a danger that road-users and particularly motorists will be lulled into a false sense of security as conditions improve after the recent freezing conditions. However, roads right across the country remain extremely dangerous with lingering patches of snow and ice posing serious risks for all road-users.
“When the expected thaw sets in it will present even more challenges for all road-users. The main danger will be from melting snow and ice. Slush will build up on the roads and they will become very wet, there may even be a risk of localised flooding. Combined with grit on the roads there will be an increased risk of skidding.
“Our advice to motorists is to continue to drive with extreme caution – don’t assume that because the weather is improving, the road conditions are also improving. They’re not, so please drive with care. We would also appeal to pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists to take extra care when using the roads.”
Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, An Garda Síochána reminded road-users that the Gardaí will continue to have a presence on the roads despite the weather conditions:
“Our role is to enforce road traffic laws to protect the people who use our roads. And we will continue to do this despite the weather conditions in order to keep people safe on the roads in what are extremely dangerous driving conditions.
“I would remind drivers in particular that since 16th November, the new Safety Camera system has been in operation on roads with a history of speed related collisions. With less than three weeks to go to Christmas, I would appeal to all road-users to take extreme care when using the roads and make sure this festive season is free from grief and tragedy.”
The Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána have the following advice for road-users:
Drivers need to be aware that grit residue from treated roads may remain on roads for a few days after a thaw. The obvious danger here is that it could create a hazard due to the risk of skidding on the grit. This is especially true on bends and in the centre of the road where a build up of grit usually occurs.
Remember that there may still be black ice lingering in sheltered spots and on bends and corners.
Be aware of the risk of thawing ice and slush build up at road sides.
Visibility will be reduced as spray from vehicles is thrown onto the windscreen of your vehicle. Keep an extra distance from the vehicle in front, especially goods vehicles, and ensure that your windshield washer is full. Keep your lights clear of grime and dirt.
Slow down as there may also be localised flooding as the thaw starts and this will increase the risk of aquaplaning.
Road surfaces may be damaged after the freeze / thaw action of the frost and ice. Motorists, especially cyclists and motorcyclists are advised to watch carefully for such hazards.
Motorists are asked to allow extra distance when passing cyclists and motorcyclists as they may have to take evasive action to avoid a hazard such as black ice or a pot-hole.
Slow down, keep an extra distance from the vehicle in front and expect the unexpected.
Road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists should be aware of overhead hazards. Melting snow and ice falling from buildings and trees pose a serious risk. Be aware of what’s happening above you and stay clear from the edges of buildings.
Slush, sand, grit, and ice-melting chemicals, as well as splattering all over windshields, also accumulates on the underside of cars, and accelerate corrosion. Wash your vehicle, particularly windscreens and lights. To minimise corrosion to your vehicle it is advisable to have the underside and wheel arches power washed/ sprayed at a car wash.
The RSA has prepared a helpful guide ‘Severe Weather Advice for Road Users’ which you can download from the RSA’s website which has useful advice on dealing with the difficult road conditions in all kinds of severe weather.

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