Tag Archives: Health&Safety

All health & safety issues, inc. diet & lifestyle; also helmets

Minimum passing distance of cyclists to become law says Minister Ross

Ireland’s transport minister Shane Ross has said that he will bring forward legislation to have a minimum passing distance of motorists overtaking cyclists defined in law.

The law will mean motorists will have to give 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 on roads with speed limits of over 50 km/hour.

Minister Ross made the announcement flanked by campaigner Phil Skelton, Minister Regina Doherty and junior minister Ciaran Cannon. Skelton is a Wexford-based campaigner who started the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign, while Doherty and Cannon introduced the first attempt to introduce the law before that process was hampered when they became government ministers.

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Submission to ‘Commission on the Future of Policing’ in Ireland on Reform of Roads Policing in Ireland

Dublin Cycling Campaign took the lead role in making a submission to The Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland in response to its call in seeking consultations with the public.

Our primary concern is the reform of Roads Policing in line with the Cyclist.ie submission made to the Policing Authority last September in relation to the Garda ‘Policing Plan 2018’

This submission is entitled: The Role of the Irish Police & the Health & Safety of people who want to cycle

Ireland’s Road Safety Champions 2017 Presented with ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards by the Road Safety Authority

Full report; two highlights below

Special Recognition’ Award: Phil Skelton

Phil Skelton founded the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign in 2013 following the deaths of two cyclists in Wexford as a result of collisions with cars travelling in the same direction. The campaign raises awareness of the need to allow sufficient space when overtaking cyclists and campaigns for the introduction of a Minimum Passing Distance Law (MPDL).

 Phil has distributed approximately 10,000 car window stickers with the 1.5m message and supported creation of similar stickers in Sligo, Wexford and Kerry. Five local authorities have introduced the ‘Stayin’ Alive at 1.5’ logo on suitable vehicles (Wexford, Kerry, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo).

 Phil Skelton has been successful in increasing motorists’ awareness of safe overtaking distance. He has shown an outstanding level of commitment to the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign. The range and intensity of activities undertaken requires a huge voluntary time commitment.

Dublin Bus won the Public Sector Award – see below – for their wonderful and witty training video for drivers around cyclists
Public Sector’ Award: Dublin Bus

The number of cyclists on Dublin City roads has increased significantly over the last 10 years. Approximately 900 buses are sharing road space with cyclists during peak times. Dublin Bus have been proactive by acknowledging and recognising the significant increase in cyclists and the corresponding increased hazard that this can present for their drivers. Dublin Bus wanted to explore innovative methods to further improve the awareness amongst their drivers in relation to cyclists, and also to promote the importance of cyclist safety to a wider audience.

They commissioned a cyclist safety awareness video which now forms an integral part of ongoing driver training. The film was launched in 2016 and was rolled out to all employees attending their Training Centre for initial driver training, 2-yearly refresher training and Driver CPC.

Unfortunately our other 2 nominees, Cian Ginty/IrishCycle.com and Kerry’s Eye newspaper did not make the awards … but no disgrace out of a total of 160 nominations!

“Stop Killing Cyclists” – Vigil & Demonstration

In the past week two more people have lost their lives while cycling on roads in Ireland, bringing the total number of cyclists killed in 2017 to 14*. That is *four more than were killed in all of 2016, and it makes 2017 the deadliest year for cyclists in more than a decade. The number of people who cycle who have been seriously or fatally injured is available at the Road Safety Authority

The members of each of our groups are sick and tired of the silence and inaction by government, both local & national, when it comes to cyclists’ safety. We have been calling for increased funding and resources for cycling and for the Garda Traffic Corps, so as to increase the member and officer complement from its present low of approx. 700 to a strength of 1,200, but those calls have fallen on deaf ears, and cyclists continue to be killed as a result.

Just yesterday we had a report on Facebook of a club cyclist clipped by an overtaking vehicle while out on a club spin. It was yet another hit-n-run caused by dangerous overtaking, which is a statutory offence covered by the Fixed Penalty-Points regime. However we never see any statistics published by An Garda Síochána to show how many FCNs are issued for this offence. We need this vital data. There is silence and inaction from the key government ministers – Minister Ross (Transport) & Minister Flanagan (Justice) – who hold responsibility for road safety and policing, respectively.

Colm Ryder (Chair of Cyclist.ie) stated: “The number of cyclists dying on our roads is growing, while other vehicle casualties drop.  This government needs to invest in cycling to protect vulnerable road users from these increased tragic losses of life.  Our thoughts are with the two most recent casualties, who came from both ends of the age spectrum.  This trend needs to be reversed, and can only be reversed by the Government making the right decisions and investing more in active travel.  MAKE CYCLING SAFE!”

Dr. Paul Corcoran (Chair of Dublin Cycling Campaign) stated that “the number of vehicle fly-parked in the mandatory-use cycle tracks on the streets of our capital, and right across the land in urban areas, during their period of operation is unacceptable. Illegally parked vehicles force cyclists out into the fast-moving traffic-stream putting riders at increased risk of being hit. They are not an aid to doing business”.

Clara Clark of Cycling Without Age, www.cyclingwithoutage.ie, “asks all road planners and users to respect and look out for cyclists on all our roads. We want Cycling Without Age trishaw trikes to become an accepted form of mobility for our older and mobility-impaired citizens. Cycling offers sustainable and healthy travel to all. Motorists need to recognise and allow space and for safe overtaking, safe road use, particularly at junctions, and parking for cyclists. We call on government and local authorities to consult with cyclists and cyclist groups when planning and upgrading new road layouts. For example, Cherrywood in south Dublin new road proposals offer unrealistic and bicycle-unfriendly junction options”.  

Stephen McManus for IBIKEDublin says: “Death by car should never become normalised in a society that cares for its people. Thirteen parents, children, partners, siblings have been killed while cycling to work, school or while just out going about their lives.
The state must act immediately and make infrastructure safer for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid further deaths.
The Dáil must also pass the Minimum Safe Distance Passing Bill into law immediately.

We must all remember that roads are primarily designed to facilitate the movement of people. The people who choose the most dangerous mode of transportation must carry the most responsibility for the safety of other road users.
Every death is one too many.”

Phil Skelton of ‘Stayin Alive at 1.5’ says: “Many motorists are simply not aware of the rights of bicycle riders and the challenges they face in navigating a road system designed primarily for motor vehicles, underpinning a stubborn prejudice that bicycle riders are “rogue” road users.

While bicycles are defined as vehicles, and given similar rights to cars when on the road, they face disproportionate vulnerability
The Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign, has made use of social media, various awareness videos, vehicle signage, safety campaigns, press releases etc. to ask motorists to “give space” to bicycle riders.  The RSA has been active in this area too, but this has been ongoing with cyclists for some time now and and although has some positive effect it doesn’t reach the target audience we need to engage, those who are might view people on bicycles as road furniture, as an inconvenience, which needs to be overtaken hastily and at the first opportunity. those unwilling to take on the message or dismissive of vulnerable road users altogether.
Introducing a minimum passing distance law would be a significant and progressive step in changing the focus on sharing the road”.

This Tuesday, 21st of November, we are joining forces as #Cyclist.ie #IBikeDublin, #StayingAliveat1.5, #DublinCyclingCampaign and #Cyclingwithoutage to let the Government know that the issue of cyclists’ safety can no longer be ignored.

Join us from 5.30pm as we hold a vigil in memory of the people killed while cycling on Irish roads.

Further information

  • Colm Ryder: 087-237 6130
  • Stephen McManus: 089-977 5896
  • Phil Skelton: 086-811 4118
  • Paul Corcoran: 086-103 5617

Latest Tragic Cycling Death Unacceptable

Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, is troubled and saddened by the recent death of a cyclist in Co Meath last weekend, bringing to twelve the number of people killed while cycling in Ireland, so far in 2017.  This is more cyclists than were killed in all of 2016.  All of these deaths have involved motor vehicles.  We would like to convey our deepest sympathies to the family of the latest victim and indeed to the families of all those killed on our roads.

Colm Ryder, Cyclist.ie Chairman said “These deaths have not been caused by accident; they have been caused by avoidable collisions.  Collisions arise because of error, incapacity, inattention or distraction on the part of drivers or cyclists, with inadequate design or maintenance of roads or vehicles as contributory factors. Other factors that contribute are lack of awareness of, and/or respect for people who cycle, and dangerous driving such as speeding and dangerous overtaking.”

We are calling on the following immediate actions to reduce or eliminate the risk to cyclists on our roads:

  • We call on the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, to increase funding for cycling, invest in safe, well designed infrastructure for cycling and to introduce necessary changes in the law such as the proposed Minimum Passing Distance Law (Note: Less than 2% of transport funding is allocated to cycling. This low figure compares with a UN recommendation to allocate 20% of Transport funding to cycling.)
  • We call on the Minister for Justice, Charles Flanagan, and the Garda to improve and increase enforcement of road traffic laws, especially in relation to cyclists’ safety and well-being.
  • We call on the RSA to increase its efforts to improve road safety for vulnerable road users, and in particular to bring about improvements in the education of drivers to be more aware of, and to give adequate space and respect to cyclists and pedestrians on our roads.
  • We call on all road users
    – to drive with due care and attention,
    – to refrain from speeding and using mobile phones and other distractions,
    – to refrain from drinking and impaired-driving,
    – to keep their vehicles roadworthy, and above all
    – to be aware of, and respect each other on the road.

As we have stated so many times cyclists do not throw themselves at motor vehicles with a death-wish. There is something wrong with traffic on our roads.

Dangerous overtaking

OK so you have been out cycling and you feel the chilling effect and intimidation of wind displacement and vibrations caused by a close passing vehicle. You know the feeling from previous incidents but this time you are using an onboard or head camera and you’ve recorded the incident on your ride. You’re mad as hell and want to report it to the Gardaí.

RSA launches website in support of new drink driving bill

Cyclist.ie is pleased to see the RSA taking Drink Driving seriously

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has today Friday 6 October, launched a website, to provide factual information on drink driving in Ireland and to dispel the many myths and misinformation in relation to the problem of drink driving in Ireland.

The new site, www.drinkdriversdestroylives.ie, is being launched to support the proposed change to strengthen drink driving penalties contained in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017. It features factual information outlining the road crash data, scientific research on the impairment effects of alcohol on driving.

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 proposes a change to the penalties for drivers who chose to drink drive at blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels between 50-80mg. The Bill does not propose to change Ireland’s drink drive limits.

Under the proposed legislation, drink driving offences committed at BAC levels between 50mg and 80mg will incur an automatic disqualification of 3 months instead of the current penalty of a €200 fine and 3 penalty points.

Commenting on the new website, Ms, Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety, said: “The website drinkdriversdestroylives.ie has been developed to provide the public, elected representatives and the media access to facts in relation to drink driving. It has also been created to counter the myths, and distorted facts that have been put into the public arena by vested interest groups and individuals. Interest groups that have ignored the pleas of victims’ families to support the introduction of the new measures and turned the perpetrators of drink driving offences into victims. The proposed change in legislation increases the penalties so offenders will lose their licence at a lower alcohol level than currently. This is vital if we are to have an effective deterrent that changes the behaviour of the small group of people in this country who continue to drink and drive.”

“I urge the public to take a few moments out of their day to visit this useful and informative website and familiarise themselves with its content. I believe that the facts and data on the site will convince people of the merit in the proposed change to drink driving penalties. The site also provides downloadable social media banners for users to show their support for the bill, and I would urge people to show their support by downloading them and sharing.”

Mr Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said; “I welcome the RSA’s new website in support of my Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017. Astonishingly, many vested interest groups and their supporters continue to deny the factual evidence about drink driving, turn their faces away from the traumatic experiences of road traffic victims and more specifically, distort information which proves that this legislation needs to be introduced. I urge politicians, publicans and the general public to access this user friendly site, inform themselves of the facts, support this Bill and help to save lives on our roads.”

The information contained on the www.drinkdriversdestroylives.ie site includes:

  • Drink Driving – Fast Facts
  • Alcohol as a factor in road crashes
  • Every victim has a story
  • Attitudes towards drink driving in Ireland
  • Drink Driving Enforcement
  • The Morning After – what happens?
  • Supporting Rural Ireland
  • Drink driving best practice

The site also features national and international research into the impairment effects of alcohol, incidence and impact of drink-driving. Recent and historical drink driving campaigns, and provides downloadable social media banners for users to show their support for the bill.

Please visit https://www.drinkdriversdestroylives.ie/

Legality of Bull Bars

From: Vehicle Standards Section, Road Safety Authority, via Email on 1 August 2017

Thank you for your query regarding frontal protection systems, more commonly known as bull bars, which has been passed to me for our direct response. The legal position on these is as follows;
EC Regulation 78/2009 lays down the requirements for the type-approval of motor vehicles relating to the protection of pedestrians and vulnerable road users. This Regulation contains specific requirements for frontal protection systems that can be approved for use on a vehicle and has replaced Directives 2005/66/EC and 2003/102/EC since 24th November 2009. EC Regulation 78/2009 has been transposed into Irish law in the Road Vehicles Entry into Service Regulations (S.I No. 157 of 2009) and the Mechanically Propelled Vehicle Entry into Service (S.I. No. 448 of 2007). he technical requirements of Regulation 78/2009 in relation to frontal protection systems do not differ from the requirements of Directive 2005/66/EC which was in place since 21st May 2007.

Currently frontal protection systems, either fitted by a vehicle manufacturer or supplied as separate technical units[1] and intended for fitting to new passenger cars (category M1 vehicles) and light goods vehicles (category N1 vehicles) must meet the requirements of EC Regulation 78/2009. Systems for fitment to these vehicles must satisfy a number of tests, including energy absorption, before they can be type-approved for use on new vehicles. Also, Type Approved frontal protection systems must not be distributed, offered for sale or sold unless accompanied by a list of vehicle types for which the frontal protection system is type approved, as well as clear assembly instructions. The proof that a frontal protection system meets with the requirements of Directive 2005/66/EC or Regulation 78/2009 is the presence of an e-mark.

Once vehicles are in service they must adhere to the requirements set out in the Road Traffic (Construction, Equipment & Use of Vehicles) Regulations (S.I. No. 190 of 1963). Article 32 states that vehicles “shall not have any inessential object in a position where it is likely to strike any person involved in a collision with the vehicle, unless injury is not likely to be caused by reason of the projection of the object”. Furthermore Article 96 states that “every vehicle while used in a public place shall be such, and so maintained and used, that no danger is likely to be caused to any person”. Owners or drivers of vehicles breaching these regulations may be found guilty of an offence under Section 11 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 as amended.

It is important to note that all frontal protection systems fitted or made available for fitting to new vehicles at registration or before entry in to service since 21 May 2007 must bear an e-mark. If it does not, then the vehicle should not be registered or allowed entry into service. It should also be noted that there are currently systems fitted and in widespread use that bear manufacturers’ logos but do not conform to the relevant type approval requirements. Such systems, which are most often fitted to a vehicle post registration, are not made by the vehicle manufacturer and would not be shown to have the necessary levels of pedestrian and vulnerable road user’s protection as required by EC Regulation 78/2009. If such devices were fitted to vehicles in use on a public road, such use may be in contravention of Articles 32 and 96 of S.I. No. 190 of 1963 as highlighted above and the driver/owner of that vehicle may be guilty of an offence.

Enforcement of the Road Traffic Regulations is a matter for An Garda Síochána and interpretation is a matter for the courts.

[1] ‘separate technical unit’ means a device subject to the requirements of a regulatory act and intended to be part of a vehicle, which may be type- approved separately, but only in relation to one or more specified types of vehicle where the regulatory act makes express provisions for so doing;

Trusting this clarifies the situation for you.

Kind regards Brian Forde Vehicle Standards