Shorter days prompt road safety warning

Shorter days prompt road safety warning

Thousands of drivers and riders are being caught without appropriate lights, prompting an RAA reminder about road safety as daylight savings ended.

Last year SA Police caught 6078 drivers in the dark without effective headlights – the highest number recorded in the past decade and a 38% increase on the year prior.

In 2023 police also caught 4513 cyclists riding without appropriate lights at night or a rear reflector, prompting an RAA reminder to light up when visibility is low.

Failure to do so risks a fine (incl.
 VOC levy) of $382 for drivers and $165 for cyclists.

Crash data also shows vulnerable road users can be at higher risk of a crash when days are shorter, with pedestrian casualty crashes jumping by 24% in autumn and winter between 2018-
2022.

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said the clocks going back was a great time to have a conversation about road safety with loved ones.

“With the clocks going back, a lot more driving and commuting will be happening in the dark in the coming months,” Mr Mountain said.

“While it will be lighter in the morning for the next few weeks, many people will be starting or finishing their homeward bound journeys in the dark as of next week.”

“Drivers need to ensure their headlights are in working order and book their car in for a service if they have any concerns.

“A clean windscreen both inside and out can greatly improve vision, as can new windscreen wiper blades.

“Motorists should also be extra alert for cyclists and pedestrians using the road, as they may be harder to see from a distance in the darker months.

“As always, it’s important to drive at a speed that allows you to stop if required.

When there is lower visibility such as at night or during wet conditions, the appropriate speed may be slower than the speed limit.

“Cyclists need to ensure their bike has a red rear reflector on it at all times, and when riding in low visibility such as at night or heavy rain, a working white light on the front of their bike and red light on the back.

“Pedestrians should also pay attention whenever they’re crossing the road – use designated crossings when available and do not assume drivers have seen you.”

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