Monthly Archives

August 2017

Back to School Safe Driving Tips

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It’s that time of year again when we return to our regular routine of chaos involving school runs, football training, dancing classes and swimming lessons to name but a few.  As the back to school rush begins, traffic volumes are known to increase significantly from late August into the start of September.  Therefore, it is important that we as drivers be extra cautious around the schools and on the roads to ensure the safety of everyone.  Here are a few back to school safe driving tips that will help you achieve this.

Know and Follow your School Traffic Systems: If you’re dropping off children at schools, familiarise yourself with the system in operation at the school.  Many schools have traffic management procedures in place to allow for a safe and efficient drop off system to operate.  It is important for the safety of the children that you follow these procedures.

Allow yourself plenty of time:  As the traffic volumes increase significantly when the schools return, you will need extra time to get to work or to school.  New parents dropping their children off at school for the first time will be dealing with the emotional trauma that this involves.  Therefore, they might take a little longer at the school.  Be patient and allow extra time for delays.  We were all first timers too!

Have Patience and show Courtesy:  When you are driving to work or to school, have patience with other drivers.  You just never know what sort of day the other driver is having or what challenges they are having to deal with in life.  Therefore, if we have patience and show courtesy to other drivers, it may cheer that person up.  Everyone appreciates an act of kindness!

Park Safely:  Unsafe or double parking at schools, or indeed in any busy location, can cause major disruption and delays to traffic as well as introduce major safety risks for children and parents.  Therefore, always park in a safe location, even if it involves walking a little further with your child to the school.  We all need the exercise!

Drive Carefully around Buses:  Drivers should always show extreme caution around school buses.  Children are very unpredictable and may jump off a bus and run across a road without realising the danger.  Remember many children are buzzing with the excitement of starting a new school year and seeing their friends again after the summer break.

If you have any further questions or queries don’t hesitate to call into to the Swilly Group office on Business Park Road in Letterkenny, give us a call on 074-9151212 or email us on info@swillygroup.com.

Driving Safely on Roundabouts

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A learner driver once asked his driving instructor to explain the roundabout lane rules to him.  His instructor said “It’s very simple.  “Think of the roundabout as a clock”.  “If you’re exiting before 12 o’clock, take up a position in the left lane”. “After 12 o’clock, take up a position in the right lane”.  The learner appeared confused and though to himself for a few seconds before saying “So in the morning, I take the left lane and in the afternoon, I take the right lane??”.

Motorist sometimes interpret the rules of the road in very different ways.  However, to drive safely on the road as motorists we need to firstly interpret the rules correctly and secondly be conscious of the fact that other motorist may have a different understanding of the rules.  Roundabouts are a traffic control that generates much discussion and debate among Irish Motorists.

In a recent publication by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) “Roundabouts, Using the Correct Lane”, the ‘golden rule’ is outlined to help motorists drive safely at any roundabout regardless of the number of exits.  The RSA state that motorist should think of the roundabout as a clock:

  • If taking any exit from the 6 o’clock to the 12 o’clock position, motorists should generally approach in the left-hand lane.
  • If taking any exit between the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock positions, motorists should generally approach in the right-hand lane.


If there are road markings showing you what lane you should be in, follow those directions. Traffic conditions might sometimes mean you have to take a different approach but, in the main, the ‘golden rule’ will help you to drive safely on almost any roundabout.

Motorists must be very observant and ensure they read the signs and observe the road markings on their approach to a roundabout (particularly if you are driving in an unfamiliar area). Local Authorities and the NRA have been using lane arrows and road signs to direct traffic into particular lanes and manage traffic at roundabouts.  For example, a very common change is to direct motorists travelling straight on (12 o’clock) to take up position in the right-hand lane.  This leaves the left lane exclusively for motorist turning left.  This allows traffic to flow more freely at roundabouts where the majority of motorists are leaving at the first two exits.

As motorists, we use our indicators to “indicate an intention” to make a manoeuvre to the left or right.  Therefore, it is important to use indicators approaching and when on roundabouts at the right time to inform other motorists of our intentions.  Remember an indicator does not give you the Right of Way.

The RSA leaflet “Roundabouts, Using the Correct Lane” outlines the following guidelines:

  • Making a left turn (First Exit), indicate ‘left’ as you approach and continue to indicate until you have taken the left exit.
  • Making a left turn (second exit), indicate ‘left’ once you’ve passed the first exit and continue to indicate until you have taken the second exit.
  • Going Straight ahead (12 o’clock), do not indicate ‘left’ until you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take.
  • Making a Right Turn (exit after 12 o’clock), approach in the righthand lane (unless road markings say otherwise), indicate ‘right ‘on your approach to the roundabout and leave your right indicator on as you drive around the roundabout until you have passed the exit before the one you intend to take. Then change to the ‘left’ turn indicator.

If you have any further questions or queries don’t hesitate to call into to the Swilly Group office on Business Park Road in Letterkenny, give us a call on 074-9151212 or email us on info@swillygroup.com.

Swilly Group announces new Driving School Manager

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Swilly Group this week announced the appointment of Martin Coyle as Driving School Manager.  Martin has taken responsibility for the running of the driving school in Letterkenny and throughout Donegal.

Swilly Group was established in 1975 by Noel Sweeney as a small driving school with one car.  Under the guidance of the Sweeney family, the business has grown to become one of the largest providers of training services in Ireland over the last 10 years employing over 30 people.  The company is a leading provider of job seeking support and training programmes throughout Ireland.

Swilly Group MD Brian Sweeney welcomes Martin Coyle

Martin Coyle comes from a haulage background having worked in the family haulage company from a very young age.  Martin has a BA in Business Studies with Accounting since 2002 and has also qualified as a Transport Manager in Road Haulage and Passenger Transport since 2012.  Martin worked with Bus Éireann for 9 years acting as Inspector in the Stranorlar office before his departure.  He completed his Driving Instructor trained with Swilly Group and qualified as an RSA approved Driving Instructor in all vehicle classes in 2011.

Brian Sweeney, Managing Director of the Swilly Group said, “We are delighted to welcome Martin onto the team at Swilly Group”.  “Martin has both the qualifications and management experience for the job and will be able to hit the ground running”.  “There was a lot of interest in the job and we interviewed some excellent candidates”.  “Martin demonstrated that he was the best person for the job and we wish him all the best in this new and challenging role”.

If you require additional information about any of the services at Swilly Group, feel free to contact us by telephone (074) 9151212, email info@swillygroup.com or check out our website at www.swillygroup.com.