How many vehicles have you encountered on the roads in the past week with just one headlight?
There are hordes of cyclops who are prowling the darkness threatening our safety. In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, a cyclops, is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. But we now have a different race on our roads.
The cyclops are vehicles with one failed headlight - and a road safety officer is stressing the danger they present. "Sadly, it is far too evident that many motorists are not checking that both of their vehicle's headlights are working correctly, " said Mr Noel Gibbons, road safety officer
"At the start of every journey, drivers should take thirty seconds to ensure that each headlight is working and adjusted correctly."
A campaign was launched in Co. Mayo encouraging all young students to become car mechanics for sixty seconds with their parents and high light any defective lights. A check list has been sent out to all primary Schools to raise awareness around the issue of vehicles with defective lights. Students are being encouraged to take just sixty seconds to walk around their parents cars with their parents to check that all lights are functioning correctly.
The easiest way to do that is by looking for the headlights' reflection on a window, or against a wall or fence or switch on your lights and walk around your vehicle.
Warned Mr Noel Gibbons: "Sometimes, headlights - not parking lights - need to be used even before official lighting up time. If you find it difficult to see others, they will find it difficult to see you.
Having a headlight out is dangerous in two ways: not only can the driver of the vehicle not see properly in an unlit road with only half the usual light available, but the defective headlight means that other road users will have difficulty spotting the vehicle properly (or in some cases, knowing even what it is)."
"Cars with only one headlight working could easily be mistaken for a motorbike - a major danger when overtaking. And he added that a vehicle with only one working head or tail light could be almost as dangerous as having no lights on."
However, changing a failed headlight bulb on a modern car may not be a quick and simple matter. "For some cars it means a visit to a dealer or follow directions on the vehicles manual. But drivers do need to check their headlight bulbs and to remember they can be committing an offence by not having correct lighting'.