Submission to the Policing Authority on the Garda Policing Plan for 2018; here
Dublin, 8 May 2017
Today marks the start of the UN’s Global Road Safety Week. All around the world, communities are coming together to organise events focused around the theme ‘Save Lives #SlowDown.’ “Speed is at the core of the global road traffic injury problem,” notes WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “If countries were to address just this key risk, they would soon reap the rewards of safer roads, both in terms of lives saved and increases in walking and cycling, with profound and lasting effects on health.” 54 people have been killed on Irish roads in 2017 already, of whom 21 were vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, motor cyclists and pillion passengers). Approximately one third of all these accident fatalities are speed related. Drivers need to make the pledge and act to Save Lives
This week will see the Garda Traffic Corps out in force, carrying out extra speed checks around Dublin. Love 30 will be holding a series of events on the 9 th of May, asking drivers to make the pledge to ‘Save Lives #SlowDown.’ At 8.15am schoolchildren from Scoil Chaitríona on Mobhi Road will be out giving drivers their views on why they should slow down. At 11 am on Tuesday 9 th May, Love 30 and the Garda Traffic Corps will be Monck Place, a known ‘rat run’ in Phibsboro, asking drivers to make the pledge to ‘Save Lives #SlowDown’. At 1pm on Tuesday 9 th May, a cross-party Oireachtas group of cycling TDs and Senators will be showing their support for this campaign at the Leinster House gates on Kildare Street.
Welcoming the initiative, Inspector Ronan Barry of the Garda Traffic Corps called on everyone to take part this week. “Slowing down isn’t just for UN Global Road Safety Week,” he said. “We all need to take responsibility for saving lives on our roads.” Love 30 is a coalition of cycling and community groups who campaign for lower speed limits to make our towns and cities safer and more pleasant places to live, work and play. “We are one group out of thousands of groups, all around the world, calling on drivers to slow down,” says Love 30’s Mairéad Forsythe. “We must accept that speed is a critical factor leading to deaths on our roads and change our behaviour accordingly.” Dublin Cycling Campaign are also supporting this intiative. “In Dublin alone 3 cyclists have been killed off their bikes this year already,” said Colm Ryder of the Dublin Cycling Campaign. “It is a frightening situation that cannot continue. We are delighted that An Garda Síochána are carrying out these urban speed checks.”
Contact: Love 30, Mairéad Forsythe, 086-8337577
UN Global Road Safety Week: 8 – 14 May 2017: The #SlowDown campaign operates on the principles of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020. On 11 May 2011, dozens of countries around the world kicked off the first global Decade of Action. From New Zealand to Mexico and the Russian Federation to South Africa, governments committed to taking new steps to save lives on their roads. The Decade of Action seeks to prevent road traffic deaths and injuries which experts project will take the lives of 1.9 million people annually by 2020. The Global Plan for the Decade of Action outlines steps towards improving the safety of roads and vehicles; enhancing emergency services; and building up road safety management generally.
It also calls for increased legislation and enforcement on speeding. More information
Love 30: Ireland has already seen 6 cyclists die on our roads this year, 3 of them in Dublin. Approximately one third of all accident fatalities are speed related. Drivers need to be cognizant of their speed levels and potential to kill or maim vulnerable road users (VRUs), particularly in urban areas. The Love 30 Campaign strongly supports the introduction of a 30 km/h speed limit on many roads in Irish towns and cities and, together with the Garda Traffic Corps, is supporting the UN’s Global Road Safety week with daily speed checks throughout the week across Dublin. More information
Have you been frightened by a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre while cycling? If so you are not alone as these overly close passes on Irish roads show.
In fact, a recent survey conducted by Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 and the Dublin Cycling Campaign revealed that 97.2% of respondents had been scared by a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre whilst cycling.
Disputes about the installation of cycle lanes on main roads through a north London suburb continue to rage. Read article
National Standard Rolled Out Nationwide
Cycle Right, the National Standard for Cycle Training in Ireland, has been officially launched by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD. Through a standardised cyclist road safety training course, cycling skills and road safety awareness will be delivered to school children nationwide. The National Standard – Cycle Right – is funded by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA). It has been developed through a steering group of Cycling Ireland, DTTAS, the RSA and others.
Cycling Ireland CEO Geoff Liffey is excited about the launch of Cycle Right saying; “I am very excited about the launch of Cycle Right; this is one of the most significant positive developments that we have seen in recent years, and will be a crucial tool in progressing cycling. By learning correct cycling skills, and learning how to cycle safely on the roads, more people will be encouraged to ride their bikes on a regular basis. By increasing the number of people cycling and increasing its visibility, our voice is louder in the move towards a more cycling friendly country.”
“While there have been successful cycle training providers operating in Ireland for years, Cycle Right, the National Standard for Cycling Training in Ireland, ensures that everyone is delivering the same message, and the standard of training received by everyone is the same. This project has been in development for over six years and I’m very pleased to see it finally come to fruition as part of our current strategy.”
Launching Cycle Right Minister Ross stated “I am delighted to announce that my Department is funding the national roll-out of Cycle Right – the new national cycle training standard – to primary schools for 2017. This new standard, that includes an on-road element of training, will ensure that we have, for the first time, a standardised level of cycle training around the country. It will also complete one of our policy objectives under the National Cycle Policy Framework.”
The Minister continued – “Since my appointment as Minister, I have become even more aware of the numbers cycling to work and the continued year-on-year growth in those numbers, particularly in Dublin. However, we do need to address the fact that we are not seeing any significant growth in the numbers cycling to school, these are the cyclists of tomorrow and we need to give them the skills and confidence to cycle to school now, so that when they graduate they will continue cycling for the rest of their lives. Cycle Right will give them those skills and that confidence.”
The Minister added – “I am particularly pleased to note that Cycle Right was developed by a partnership steering committee consisting of a wide-range of stakeholders, Cycling Ireland, the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána, An Táisce Green Schools, Coaching Ireland and representatives of local authorities along with my Department. This has ensured that the Safety aspect of this training has been key in its development.”
“I understand that training will commence in early 2017 and I look forward to congratulating some of the first graduates in person in the Spring. It is important that parents support this initiative and use this opportunity to look again at how their children travel to school. I know, from my discussions with my colleagues the Minister for Health and Minister for Children that childhood obesity is a pressing issue and that active travel to school, be that by cycling or walking is very important in addressing this.”
Cycle Right is funded by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport and the Road Safety Authority, and will be administered and managed by Cycling Ireland, the National Governing Body of Cycling in Ireland.
See also article on website of Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (DTTAS)
In the first week of December the CHIPS (Cycle Highways Innovation for smarter People transport and Spatial planning) partners met in the surprisingly sunny city of Belfast to discuss the results of CHIPS survey and to design the behavioural change campaigns to attract more users on the cycle highways. The survey which was conducted by the project partners in Northern Ireland revealed the main barriers faced by commuters while cycling to work. Most respondents claimed that non-segregation of traffic is the biggest problem, while a smaller group of surveyed people has identified weather as the biggest problem. Read more
The figures, released at a press conference in Dublin this morning, show that 1,296 cars in Dublin have been recorded breaking a red light so far in 2016 – 24 times the rate of cyclists caught breaking red lights (54) in the same period.
In response to a question from TheJournal.ie, Garda Superintendent Tom Murphy said zero pedestrians have died in collision with a cyclist, but he said one has been seriously injured.