Cyclists are vulnerable on the roads
National Bike Week runs from Saturday 22 June to Sunday 30 June/
Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána and Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, called on drivers to slow down and keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on both urban and rural roads.
Not only during the upcoming National Bike Week which runs from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 June, but every day of the year. Cyclists are also being reminded to follow the rules of the road.
All road users need to be aware there will be an increase in the number of cyclists on the road over this period, with drivers in particular being asked to treat them with respect and to share the road safely.
The organisations have three important pieces of advice for drivers:
Give cyclists the space to ride safe when overtaking them. (1 metre in speed zones up to 50 km/h and 1.5 metres in zones over 50km/h).
Cyclists can be thrown off course by sudden gusts of wind or when having to avoid uneven road surfaces.
Check mirrors regularly. Remember a cyclist could be in your blind spot, look carefully before making your manoeuvre or getting out of a parked vehicle.
If you or passengers are getting out of the vehicle make sure you check for passing cyclists before opening the door.
Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Roads Policing Bureau, said: “Drivers need to follow all the rules of the road and have a duty of care to cyclists, especially when overtaking, to give them a safe passing distance of at least 1 metre. Cyclists equally need to follow all the rules of the road, especially when it comes to traffic lights, footpaths and one way streets. Cycling should be a fun and safe pastime but cyclists need to make sure their bikes are roadworthy and in good working order to include brakes, tyres, chain, and have lights and reflectors. Our strong advice is to always wear reflective clothing and a helmet when cycling. An Garda Síochána encourages everyone taking part in National Bike Week to act responsibly on our roads.”
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross TD said: “National Bike Week is a great way to get out and about and I would encourage everyone to use the road safely, look out for each other and enjoy the various activities taking place all around the country. Cycling is a popular means of transport in Ireland. Safe overtaking by motorists will protect cyclists and ensure that our roads are shared safely by all and reduce the number of cycling deaths on our roads. We all have a responsibility, whether as motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians to share the road in a safe and responsible manner.”
Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said: “The RSA would like to remind motorists to give cyclists the space to ride safe - not only during National Bike Week, but every day of the year.
Cyclists are among our most vulnerable road-users yet many drivers do not demonstrate enough caution and awareness when sharing the road with cyclists. Drivers should allow at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50 km/h and at least 1.5 metres when passing at speeds above 50 km/h. You should allow extra space when overtaking a cyclist and always anticipate a cyclist having to make a sudden move to avoid a pothole or obstruction.”
Mr. Colm Ryder, Chairperson of Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, said: “National Bike Week is a great celebration of all the positive things about cycling. There will be hundreds of events taking place around the country and I would encourage people to find out about local events near them at www.bikeweek.ie. We are asking drivers to support that mood of celebration, by being more aware of cyclists and pedestrians using our roads, by obeying speed limits, by driving slowly and by providing adequate space when passing. Drivers in Dublin are likely to see even greater numbers of cyclists around the City Centre during Bike Week this year as it coincides with the arrival of over 1,000 cyclist delegates for the world's largest cycling related conference at the national Conference Centre (CCD).’’
National Bike Week is a celebration and promotion of all that is great about bikes and cycling held over a week in June of each year with bike themed events organised by local authorities, community groups and cycling groups throughout Ireland. For more details on National Bike Week and to find an event near you visit www.bikeweek.ie
The RSA and Cycling Ireland have launched an adult cycle training programme as part of Bike Week. The aim of this programme is to provide an excellent standard of cycle safety and skills training so that participants develop the competence and confidence to cycle safely on the road network. Through the training we are promoting the understanding that the road is a shared space and that we must adapt our behaviour in recognition of other users. The programme is currently being delivered to participants in the South Dublin region and is available nationwide. The RSA will also have an information stand at the Velo-city Dublin 2019 global cycling conference which takes place during Bike Week.