Motorists must give cyclists space to ride safely - gardai

Road safety campaign launched ahead of May Bank Holiday weekend

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Motorists must give cyclists space to ride safely - gardai

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Gardai are urging motorists to give cyclists the space to ride safely.

Minister Shane Ross and the Road Safety Authority made the appeal in conjunction with An Garda Siochána today ahead of the May Bank Holiday weekend.

They said they are seriously concerned about the increase in cycling fatalities as the popularity of the pastime has increased dramatically in recent years.

Six cyclists have died in 2018 compared to 4 cyclists up to the same period last year.  This follows a 50% increase in cyclist fatalities in 2017.

In response the RSA launched an awareness campaign in early March to educate drivers of the need to leave a safe distance when overtaking cyclists. The RSA recommends that drivers allow at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50km/hour and at least 1.5 metres when passing at speeds above 50km/hour.

READ ALSO: Kildare Town Cycling Club to host 160km cycle for charity

Minister Ross said: “One fatal road tragedy is one too many.  In 2017, there were 15 cyclists killed on our roads; a 50% increase on 2016. This is unacceptable and I hope that the introduction of the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) will contribute positively to the safety of cyclists on our roads.”

Assistant Commissioner, David Sheahan, Garda National Roads Policing Unit, said: “We are calling on drivers to heed their speed, slow down and keep their eyes on the road. It is important to be conscious of cyclists at junctions, particularly when turning left, to check the various driver blind spots and allow plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist.

!Our message for cyclists is to realise that the rules of the road apply to them also. This means not cycling on footpaths, not weaving in and out of traffic, stopping at traffic lights and signalling your intent when turning left or right.”