The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is advising all road users who may be travelling in border counties to be aware of a new UK Emergency Alert system. The new system will send a test ‘alert’ message to all mobile phones and devices across Britain and Northern Ireland on the afternoon of Sunday, 23 April.
As part of the test messaging alert, phones will sound a loud alarm and may vibrate and flash to flag the incoming emergency message. The alert will issue between 3pm and 4pm on Sunday and is for testing purposes only.
Members of the public do not need to take any action.
Mobile phone customers near border areas in Ireland who roam onto a UK mobile phone network between 3pm and 4pm on Sunday will receive the alert/message. Mobile phone customers on networks based in Ireland will not receive the message.
Road users are advised of the following advice if they get the alert while travelling this coming Sunday:
- Do not be alarmed or startled if your phone makes a loud alarm sound, vibrates and flashes to flag the incoming test message.
- Do not read or otherwise respond to an emergency alert while driving or riding a motorcycle.
- If driving, continue to drive and do not respond to the noise or attempt to pick up the mobile phone and deal with the message.
- Drivers are reminded never to use their mobile phones while driving. You either turn it off, switch it to airplane mode, put it on silent or simply put it out of sight.
In a real-time emergency, you should find somewhere safe and legal to pull over and read the message. If that is not possible, drivers can tune into live radio and wait for bulletins until they can pull over safely. However, this alert across Britain and Northern Ireland on Sunday is simply for testing purposes so road users should ignore the message and carry on with their journey.