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Drivers told to give cyclists some space when they overtake

Campaigners want a minimum overtaking distance.
Jan 7th 2015, 5:04 PM 16,492 147

Source: Wexfordphil 1/YouTube

MOTORISTS ARE BEING told to be aware of the space they give cyclists on the roads.

12 cyclists were killed in Ireland in 2014, more than twice the 2013 figure of five.

Noel Gibbons , the road safety officer with Mayo County Council says that if the road is narrow, you should stay behind the cyclist.

“If the road is too narrow for a vehicle to overtake a cycle at a distance of 1.5 metres, then that vehicle must travel behind the cycle until it is able to overtake it lawfully.”

Last year, the Australian state of Queensland announced a two-year trial of a minimum passing distance for motorists who are overtaking cyclists: one meter on roads with speed limits up to 60km/h and 1.5m on faster roads.

If Ireland was to introduce a similar rule it would bring the country into line with several other EU member states where a 1.5-metre minimum passing distance has been adopted, such as Germany, Spain and, other than in urban areas where it is 1 metre, France.

A campaign was founded in April 2013 called Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 by Phil Skelton of Wexford..

He says that the laws work.

In Queensland, for example, a recent survey done by the Amy Gillette Foundation after just 6 months of the trial there found that 75pc are aware of the legislation, 67pc support the legislation and most importantly 61pc of cyclists have experienced greater distance from overtaking motorists

Gibbons says that the campaign wants one thing: fewer collisions.

“The outcome that we’re looking for is for cars to stop hitting bikes. We want people not to hit bike riders in their cars when they’re on the road because the reality is that the majority of crashes that lead to bike rider deaths involve a vehicle.”

According to a recent extensive study by the American League of cyclists, 40pc of cyclist fatalities are caused by collisions from the rear.

Read: This politician wants a Portland-style bike route through south Dublin

Read: A 72-year-old cyclist was killed in a car crash this morning

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Paul Hosford


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