With a General Election approaching, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is today 2nd February 2016 asking candidates, political parties and their campaign workers of the need to take extra care when positioning campaign posters.
The RSA is advising that election posters should not be placed at the roadside in such a way that they obscure road signs, particularly those that relate to the Rules of the Road and road user safety. These would include Regulatory Signs such as ‘STOP’ and speed limit signs; Warning Signs such as junction and road works signs; as well as Information Signs which provide directions. They should not be placed in known collision prone zones, where they risk distracting drivers and where campaign workers may be at risk when putting them up. A list of which can be found on the Garda website www.garda.ie
“The signage on our roads, whether put there by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the NRA), Local Authorities, the Gardaí or construction and road repair teams, are there to ensure the safety of drivers and all road users,” explained Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA, “so it is vital that no action is taken that either obscures them or distracts road users from their content.”
It is an offence to erect any sign or notice that makes a traffic sign less visible to road users or obstructs a view to such a degree that it makes the road unsafe for road users (Road Traffic Act 1961, Section 95, Subsection 14)
(14) A person shall not provide any such sign, device, notice or light as is not a traffic sign if, on provision thereof, it is visible from a public road and—
(a) it is capable of being confused with a traffic sign,
(b) it makes a traffic sign provided in accordance with this section less visible to road users,
(c) it obstructs the view of public road users so as to render the road dangerous to them.
Local Authorities are also advised that under the ‘Traffic Signs Manual’ issued by the Department of Transport that action should be taken to deal with obstructions that impede the clear visibility of traffic signs.
Concluding Ms. Murdock also asked election candidates to ensure that “all campaign workers are made aware of the dangers of working at the road side and not to place themselves or others at risk when erecting posters. It would certainly be very helpful if such workers took the practical step of wearing high-visibility jackets when doing so.”