With frost and snow predicted to hit the West coast at the end of this week and into the weekend, Ennis Superintendent Peter Duff has issued a general warning to motorists and pedestrians venturing out in inclement conditions.
Superintendent Duff stressed that motorists are not used to driving on ice or snow and need to take extreme care when travelling in these conditions.
“I would encourage people not to make unnecessary journeys and when driving in these conditions to wear appropriate clothing and to carry with them a fully charged mobile phone.
“People need to be aware also that the breaking distance is greatly increased on ice and snow.
“It is recommended that on dry roads travelling at 30 miles an hour you should keep between two to three car lengths between you and the car in front, this doubles in wet and inclement weather. Motorists should check their tyres regularly and ensure that their headlamps are working and are clean,” Superintendent Duff stressed.
Should Clare experience a particularly bad cold snap, the senior garda has advised the public to be mindful of elderly neighbours and to check in on them to ensure they have enough heat and food.
Separately, in light of the cold weather, the superintendent issued another warning to motorists who have got into a habit of turning on their car in the morning to heat it but leave the car unattended with the keys in the ignition.
“I am urging people not to leave the keys in the car while defrosting their windscreens to go inside to have another cup of tea.
“This presents an ideal opportunity for someone to take the car. We have had no reports of this happening here to date but we are aware of it happening in other districts.
“The public should also know that it is an offence to leave their car keys in the ignition with the engine running in a public place,” he stressed.
Superintendent Duff also wished the people of Clare a very happy Christmas but asked that they enjoy the holiday season sensibly.
“People will be socialising more this Christmas and we would again urge that the public would not drink and drive and stay safe. With the inclement weather, even pedestrians need to take care as footpaths and road surfaces can be slippy,” he concluded.