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TD calls for 'cultural shift' on Irish roads after suffering 'traumatic' injury while cycling

Fine Gael’s Ciaran Cannon told RTÉ’s Drivetime that he required surgery following a collision with a vehicle.

Ciaran Cannon TD
Ciaran Cannon TD

A FINE GAEL TD has called for a “cultural shift” in how road users in Ireland treat each other after suffering a serious injury while cycling earlier this year. 

TD for Galway East Ciaran Cannon told RTÉ’s Drivetime that he required surgery following a “pretty traumatic” collision with a vehicle in the village of Moycullen, Co Galway. 

Cannon said that a “critically important part ” of his knee was damaged during the incident and he underwent surgery as a result. 

Cannon, who has been an avid cyclist for 40 years, said it will take one year before he is fully recovered and called for all road users to be aware of the vulnerability of other road users. He said greater awareness of cyclists would encourage more people in Ireland to cycle. 

It comes after the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána report for 2021 today showed that a significant majority of fatalities happened outside of urban areas, with 82% of deaths occurring on rural roads with a speed limit of 80km or higher.

The review also found that 406 people were seriously injured in collisions in the first half of 2021, with pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists accounting for almost half of all serious injuries recorded.

Cannon said today that every road user has the right to be on Ireland’s roads. 

“The most important element to all of this is a cultural shift where all road users begin to respect each other’s right to be on the roads in the first place,” he said. 

“I’ve argued vehemently on this, there is no hierarchy of road users…we’re all out there and we’re all trying to make our way as best we can to school, to college, to work, to meet up with friends and irrespective of what mode of transport we use we have the right, the entitlement to feel safe on our roads.”

Cannon described as “shamefully low” the number of young people in Ireland who cycle to school and dismissed as “nonsense” the argument in favour of a tax for cyclists who use the roads in Ireland. 

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Cannon called for a similar system in the UK to be set up in Ireland whereby road users – motorists and cyclists – can upload dashcam footage of their commute which in turn assists police forces to prosecute dangerous driving. 

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