Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transports

Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transports

While young children and teenagers are learning from home during the COVID-19 schools closure periods, why not add road safety and cycle safety to your list of learning tools and tutorials at home. Even teaching your kids the very basis of the ‘Safe Cross Code’ can help save a life.

Below are some useful posters and guidelines which you can teach children about on how to cross a road safely, using traffic signals, cycling safely and travelling in a vehicle safely. You can discuss these topics with your child and explain the reasons why these safety mechanisms are in place and why we all need to be extra careful while using the roads.

KCC - Travelling Safely 
KCC - Cycling Safely 
KCC - Using Zebra Crossings 
KCC - Using a Pelican Crossing 
KCC - Crossing at Traffic Islands 
KCC - Crossing between parked cars 
KCC - School goers guide to road safety 

The Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer (RCSTO) is responsible for the delivery of the council’s role and responisbilities under three categories:
Road Safety, Cycling and also Sustainable Transport. While a broader outline of each section of the role is listed on the menus on the left, below is a brief synopsis of the role and responsibilities of the RCSTO.  

Road Safety –

  • School Warden Service (Management, Training, Safety, PPE and Payroll)

  • Preparing, promoting and assisting in the implementation of the Road Safety Plan

  • Liaising with RSA, LARSO, AGS and other Stakeholders

  • Initiating and promoting road safety campaigns and projects

  • Deliver road safety education in schools and throughout the community

  • Organise and deliver annual AXA Road Safety Roadshow for TY/LCA & Youth Groups

Cycling –

  • Promote safer cycling and cycle awareness

  • Service and support the Kildare Cycle Forum

  • Arrange and provide Cycle Training at schools

  • Assess schools and students in cycle proficiency and knowledge

  • Organise cycleways and greenways promotional events

  • Organise and promote annual Bike Week events

Sustainable Transport –

  • Support Mobility Management Initiatives and other initiatives which support greater use of walking, cycling and public transport.

  • Promote current Greenways and Blueways

  • Prepare grant funding applications for new Greenway and Blueway schemes

  • Promote Active Travel and Smarter Travel initiatives

  • Liaise with Kildare Fáilte, Kildare Tourism, Schools Network and other stakeholders to promote and support Green & Blueway tours and water based events and activities.

  • Organise and promote annual EU Mobility Week events in Kildare and co-ordinate sustainable transport initiatives during EU Mobility Week and other related EU, National, regional, and local events as required.

  • Support the Kildare Regional Climate Action Office in sustainable transport initiatives

  • Any other such other duties that may be assigned from time to time

Is Your Journey Absolutely Necessary?

In extreme weather conditions you should ask yourself if making a journey by road is absolutely necessary. You might consider delaying your trip until the weather and road conditions improve or use public transport where available. If your journey is unavoidable you should be prepared. Ensure your vehicle has a more than adequate supply of fuel for the journey. Allow extra time and drive with caution. Let someone know your route and when you expect to arrive. Check to see if there are any problems on your intended route before setting out on a journey. Listen to TV or radio bulletins and check the weather forecast. Remember that the best road conditions are likely to occur between 10am and 4pm.

Is Your Vehicle Winter-Ready?

Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual and find out if it has any safety assist technology e.g. ABS

  • Get your vehicle serviced to ensure it is fit and safe
  • Carry out regular checks on the vehicle
  • Check for wear and tear on wiper blades and replace them as soon as they start to smear rather than clean windows
  • Keep tyre pressure at the manufacturer's recommended level
  • Replace tyres if necessary - check your tyre tread depth - the minimum legal limit is 1.6mm, however, for winter driving 3mm is advised
  • Make sure all vehicle lights are working and clean
  • Ensure the vehicle has adequate levels of anti-freeze coolant and screen wash
  • Check your vehicle battery

Be Prepared
In prolonged icy or snowy driving conditions it is advisable to carry a fully charged mobile phone and have the following in the boot of the car:

  • High Visibility Vest
  • Tow rope
  • A shovel
  • Appropriate footwear in case you have to leave your vehicle
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • De-icing equipment (Both for glass and door locks)
  • First aid kit
  • A fire extinguisher
  • A torch
  • A car blanket, additional clothing & some food and water (for long journeys)
  • Consider carrying some salt or sand

Motoring Tips in Snow and Ice

  • Clear your windows, mirrors and lights before you set out – do not use hot water on the windscreen as it can crack the glass
  • Ensure your vehicle is clear of snow including the roof
  • Have sunglasses in the car
  • Visibility may be reduced. However, do not hang on to the tail lights of the vehicle in front of you
  • Use your dipped headlights and fog lights
  • Manoeuvre gently, too much steering is bad
  • Slow down and leave extra distance between you and the vehicle in front
  • When you slow down, use your brakes gently so that the brake lights warn drivers behind you
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration
  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid wheel spin. Select a low gear when travelling downhill especially if through bends
  • If your car has rear wheel drive the addition of extra weight in the boot will help your wheels to grip
  • Be careful on compacted snow – it may have turned to ice
  • Watch out for black ice especially in sheltered / shaded areas on roads, under trees, under or on bridges and adjacent to high walls

If your vehicle begins to skid you should:

  • Identify the cause – it is either; too much braking, too much steering, too much acceleration or a combination of these.
  • Remove the cause – gently and smoothly
  • Avoid over-correction with too much steering, be ready for a secondary skid in the opposite direction
  • Cars have different braking systems.

Motoring Tips in Strong Wind

  • Slow down and increase the distance from the vehicle in front
  • If driving a high-sided vehicle be prepared, when approaching exposed
  • sections of roadway, for the impact of the wind on the steering dynamics of the vehicle
  • Avoid overtaking manoeuvres on such exposed sections
  • When passing motorcyclists, cyclists or pedestrians be prepared in case the wind blows them into your path
  • Be alert to the possibility of flying debris and fallen trees
  • If you have to stop for any reason use your hazard warning lights to warn other drivers

Motoring Tips in Severe Flooding

  • Slow down - do not drive at speed into floodwater – there may be a
  • pothole or debris concealed in the water or your vehicle may aquaplane leading to loss of control
  • Before you drive through floodwater ascertain how deep the water is to ensure your vehicle can get through safely
  • In rain and when visibility is poor drivers should use dipped headlights
  • Keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians, cyclists etc and avoid spraying or swamping them
  • If you have to stop, activate your hazard warning lights

Motoring Tips in Fog

  • Slow down and increase the distance from the vehicle in front
  • Use dipped headlights and front and rear fog lights, if fitted
  • Remember to switch off fog lights when visibility improves
  • Keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Do not blindly follow the vehicle in front – it may leave the road for whatever reason
  • If you have to stop, activate your hazard warning lights

Advice to Pedestrians

  • If a journey cannot be avoided, be extremely careful as snow and ice can make walking on footpaths very dangerous
  • Wear sturdy footwear - insulated and waterproof with good gripping soles
  • Be careful when walking on compacted snow – it may have turned to ice
  • Take an extra look before you cross the road and do not attempt to cross if there are vehicles approaching – remember snow and ice increases the distance that vehicles need to stop
  • Be Seen to Be Safe! Visibility is reduced in poor weather conditions so wear high visibility clothing or carry a torch. As children often journey to school in the dark, make sure your child can be seen
  • Be extremely careful in the vicinity of open water, canals, lakes, ponds or coastal piers etc
  • Never walk on frozen waterways
  • In order to protect yourself if you fall, avoid walking with your hands in your pockets

Advice to Motorcyclists / Cyclists

  • Consider your safety first - controlling two-wheeled vehicles in snow or icy conditions can be extremely difficult and there is an increased danger of a collision with a vehicle that is out of control
  • Consider taking alternative transport or walking

With the increase in people out walking, jogging or cycling on local roads, ‘sun glare’ can cause vision impairment issues for some motorists, which in turn can pose a risk to those using the road. Sun glare in some areas can prevent a person from being visible to drivers and all too often, motorists who encounter a person unexpectedly on the side of a road may have to break hard or swerve to avoid them.

Using sunglasses is always a good start in combating the effect of sun glare.

Kildare County Council is reminding people who use the road to be more aware of their environment and the roads they are using and be mindful of any sun glare spots which may cause a shadow and sometimes ‘hide’ the person, resulting in some motorists having to take evasion action.

Declan Keogh, Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer said: “Everyone is taking advantage of quieter roads and local roads so they can exercise within their 5km radius, however, these are areas where people may not be too familiar with for their walks or a cycle which also means they may not be fully aware of the risks associated with those roads. Continue exercising, but be mindful that sun glare spots may occur, which can basically hide your presence on the road, so just be mindful of your surrounding and listen out for approaching vehicles and take action to avoid any incidents.”

The following are guidelines for drivers to combat sun glare:


  • Use polarized sunglasses that can help prevent glare.
  • Delay driving times to occur before or after sunrise or sunset.
  • Don’t use high-gloss products on the dashboard, which can contribute to extra glare.
  • Keep the inside and outside of the windshield clean.
  • Make use of sun visors.
  • If glare is a problem, leave extra space between your car and others in the event of sudden stopping or other road hazards.
  • Drive slowly and be mindful of obstructions.
  • Try taking another route that goes in a different direction than the one from which the sun is shining.
  • Leave extra time so that you don’t feel rushed getting to your destination.
  • Eye exams or surgery can make eyes more sensitive to the sunlight. Avoid driving after these appointments.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and look at the road from a driver’s perspective
  • If there is no footpath, walk on the right-hand side of the road facing oncoming traffic
  • Step in off the road to avoid approaching vehicles
  • Increase your visibility by wearing a high visibility or reflective jacket or vest, even in daylight hours.

  • Again, be aware of your surroundings
  • Considering the distance drivers must allow to pass a cyclist, always be aware that not all motorists may see you
  • Be more alert for approaching vehicles and prepare to pull in off the road if it is necessary
  • Being more visible to other road users is essential, even in daylight hours. You could wear a high visibility, illuminous or reflective garment to become more visible to others.
  • If cycling in groups, please bear in mind the width of the road and allow space for other vehicles to overtake or pass.


Kildare’s Christmas Road Safety campaign continues until 5th January 2021. The Kildare Garda Roads Policing Unit is engaging in Mandatory Intoxicant Testing checkpoints at various locations across County Kildare. The checkpoints will operate around the clock.

While traffic volumes have reduced by 70% at times during this year, there has been a 133% increase in detections for drug driving. The Kildare Joint Policing Committee and the Kildare Road Safety Working Group are appealing to road users to be responsible and use the roads safely and wisely over the festive season.

Inspector Tony Connaughton of the Naas District said gardaí can stop a motorist randomly at a checkpoint and test them for an intoxicant. If the driver proves positive for alcohol or drugs, they can be arrested and brought to the local garda station for processing.

“When a driver is detected at a testing checkpoint, we can stop a motorist randomly driving through. To test for alcohol, we can do a breath test and to test for the presence of drugs we will do an oral fluid test.” If the person proves positive for either of those tests, they will be arrested and brought to the local garda station where a specimen will be provided. If the specimen comes back positive and above the thresholds set out, that person will be prosecuted and on conviction in the District Court they will receive a disqualification from driving and a criminal conviction, all of which may lead to issues of employment or future travel plans for that person.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not just illegal and dangerous, it can also lead to other consequences for many other people. If people are involved in a collision, because of the actions of an impaired driver, those peoples’ lives are affected also.

Kildare’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh is appealing to people to drivers to be safe and sober while driving and for passengers to also be aware of the drivers’ actions. “We’re asking drivers to be safe and sober of any alcohol or drugs while driving, and for any other person who is getting into a vehicle with a driver, that they themselves know that the driver is safe and sober of alcohol or drugs, and above all for every single person in the vehicle to wear their seatbelt and for the driver to drive within the speed limit.”

Pedestrians and cyclist are also reminded to become more visible and alert while using the roads.