Keep a safe distance and slow down when overtaking cyclists on both urban and rural roads every day of the year.
That is the key message An Garda Síochána, the RSA and the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, are conveying to the public as part of National Bike Week, which finishes today (Sunday).
All parties have reminded drivers of safety issues that are challenges for cyclists and road users to be aware of cyclists and to share the road safely.
The bodies have issued the following road safety advice:
- Check mirrors and blind spots. Remember, a cyclist could be in your blind spot, so look carefully before you manoeuvre your vehicle. Take extra care at junctions and watch out for cyclists, especially when you are making a left turn.
- If you or passengers are getting out of a parked vehicle, ensure you check for passing cyclists before opening the door. Use the ‘Dutch Reach’ technique to open a car door;
- Give cyclists the space to ride safe when overtaking them. At least 1 metre in speed zones up to 50 km/h and at least 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.
Mr Sam Waide, CEO of Road Safety Authority, said: “It is critical to understand that there is no hierarchy on the roads in terms of safe road use.”
“Everyone using the roads has an equal responsibility to ensure good road user behaviour and to protect vulnerable road users, including cyclists.”
The RSA reminded motorists to look out for cyclists by:
- Allowing extra space when overtaking;
- Checking their blind spots at junctions, when turning left and changing lanes.
It says it is important to always anticipate a cyclist having to make a sudden move to avoid a pothole or obstruction.
“We all have a responsibility, whether as motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians, to share the road in a safe and responsible manner not only during National Bike Week, but all year round.”
Protect vulnerable road users
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, said that all road users need to be aware that there will be an increase in the number of cyclists on the road over this period and, indeed, throughout the summer months.
“I am calling on drivers to treat cyclists with respect and to share the road safely. The new Government Road Safety Strategy prioritises active travel and 50 high-impact actions that will make the roads safer and protect vulnerable road users, including cyclists.”
“This includes speed reduction measures in urban and rural areas and the provision of more segregated walking and cycling infrastructure.”
“During 2021–2025, 1,000 km of segregated walking and cycling facilities will be constructed to provide safe cycling and walking arrangements for users of all ages.”
Chief Superintendent Michael Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said all parties must follow all the rules of the road.
All cyclists, he added, have a responsibility to consider their own safety and the safety of other road users.
He advises that both motorists and cyclists need to be aware of their impact on overall road safety.
“Cycling should be a fun and safe pastime. But cyclists also need to make sure their bikes are roadworthy and in good working order, including brakes, tyres, chains, and lights and reflectors.”
“An Garda Síochána encourages everyone taking part in National Bike Week to act responsibly on our roads,” he concluded.
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