The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the County and City Management Association (CCMA) are calling on all landowners to cut their hedgerows before March 1 to ensure they are not causing a potential serious road safety hazard.
Overgrown hedgerows and roadside verges can result in road fatalities and serious injury collisions. They also pose difficulties for pedestrians and cyclists and to trucks and agricultural vehicles carrying loads, especially on local rural roads in the case of sightlines at junctions or obstructions to road signs.
In accordance to the Wildlife Act, the season when cutting hedgerows and verges is between the start of September and the end of February the following year.
Mr. Sam Waide, Chief Executive, RSA, said: “We are calling on all landowners across the country to remember the impact that overgrown hedgerows can have on other road users. They can cause a road safety hazard that could potentially cost the life of another member of your community. Road safety is a shared responsibility, and it is important that landowners remain alert and take accountability for maintaining hedgerows. We will only make our roads a safer place if we all step up to the mark and take personal responsibility for what happens on the roads.”
On behalf of local authorities, Paddy Mahon, Chair of the CCMA Climate Action, Transport and Networks Committee said: “Local authorities have an obligation to ensure roadside verges are maintained and that local road safety issues should be prioritised. Equally, landowners and anyone living along the roadside has a responsibility to check that hedges or trees on their property are not causing a road safety hazard. If they are, the landowners should take the necessary steps needed to ensure road safety. We are also calling on members of the public to report road safety issues caused by overgrowth to their local authority which can then contact the landowner.”