An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have launched a new road safety campaign ‘We’re on the road back. Make it a safer one’, urging road users to be extra cautious as the roads get busier, and to realise that they have changed due to increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians on Irish roads.
It follows the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions which now allow travel within a 20km limit of the home or within the county boundary.
Drivers are being urged to slow down, avoid distractions while driving and to take care when passing pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians are reminded to use the footpath and if there is none, to walk on the right-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
In addition, the RSA and An Garda Síochána are reminding car owners to ensure their vehicle, which may not have been driven for some time, is roadworthy by undertaking some basic maintenance checks in advance of setting off. With many people working from home, they may be out of the habit of driving; drivers are being encouraged to make sure they are comfortable and familiar with their vehicles again before going on any journey.
"I would like to acknowledge that the vast majority of road users have behaved in a responsible manner during COVID-19 restrictions," Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána, said.
"As we have entered Phase 2 we are seeing more traffic on our roads. As the number of vehicles is increasing, so too are the numbers of people involved in active travelling - walking and cycling. We are appealing to all road users country-wide, to continue to be vigilant while on the roads – be aware of changed road layouts and be mindful of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists.
An Garda Síochána will maintain a visible presence on the road network," she added.
"I would ask all road users to remember the basics of road safety, to drive within speed limits, to comply with road signage, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, make sure to wear your seatbelt while driving and don’t be distracted by electronic devices. Please show consideration for other road users, we all have a responsibility to help each other to stay safe on our roads.”
What to look out for when viewing second hand homes
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest. Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget. Viewing appointments can […]
By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY
After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest.
Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget.
Viewing appointments can be arranged via a telephone call or a simple email to the selling agent. When making the appointment make it clear that the mortgage is in place and you are ‘ready to go’.
This week we will deal with viewing second hand homes and what to look out for on that first property viewing.
When you arrive at a house, you’ll get a general feel outside of how well it’s been maintained. Arrive early and study the exterior of the property before going in, and have a glance at neighbouring properties. This will help you to get your bearings before continuing with the viewing.
If viewing an older house, a musty smell is the first red flag for signs of damp. Also be wary of the smell of fresh paint; was this done to simply freshen the property up or what is it covering up? Is paintwork bubbling or flaking?
Take note of any wall cracking; hairline cracks in walls and ceilings are generally fine, but if you can spot a crack from the other side of the room, then it’s probably big enough to be concerned about.
In older houses, take a good look at windows and roofs. Window frames can slope downward if there are poor ground conditions underneath, and the roof of the house can sag in too.
Is there room to extend? If you are lucky enough that there is have a look for external manhole covers; it gives a good indication of the drainage and pipe layout which may complicate a future extension.
Don’t be afraid to ask the nosy questions; why is the house for sale? How long has it been on the market? How long have the current owners resided there? Has the house been rented out frequently? How many times has it changed hands in the last decade? Have there been any refurbishments? Has it been rewired/replumbed? Who are the neighbours? What is included in the selling price?
It is a good idea to take photos (with the agents consent) or videos as this will help you remember the property after you have returned home.
And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Spend as much time as you think you need to and don’t hesitate to request a second viewing.
Bus to Belfast to stay on the road
A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until […]
A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road.
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until a new a statutory scheme is put in place.
The Kerry deputy avails of this service for his constituents on a regular basis and said many were concerned that the scheme may come to an end due to Brexit.
“What this will mean to so many of my constituents is that they can continue to avail of this scheme for treatments for cataract removals by travelling from Kerry by bus to Belfast so that they can get treated in a timely manner and get back to living their lives in a healthy manner,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.
“I am delighted that the Government has seen the good sense to help continue this scheme and I’m delighted that the pressure of representation that I have brought to this scheme will see it continue.”
The Scheme was first introduced to mitigate the loss of access to care from private providers in Northern Ireland under the EU Cross Border Directive, which ceased to apply as a result of Brexit. However, the Government intends to place the administrative NI PHS on a statutory basis and an extensive examination of options to inform the drafting of a General Scheme is currently underway with confirmation that the administrative scheme will remain until such time that a statutory scheme is in place.
Patients also continue to have access to health services under the EU Cross Border Directive Scheme in all other remaining EU/EEA countries.
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