Tag Archives: Health&Safety

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

Motorists Urged to Give Cyclists the Space to Ride Safe

  • Minister, RSA and Gardaí seriously concerned about increase in cyclist fatalities as popularity of cycling increases dramatically in recent years
  • 6 cyclists have died in 2018 compared to 4 cyclists up to the same period last year
  • 2017 saw 50% increase in cyclist fatalities
  • Cyclists also advised to take steps to ensure their safety on the roads
  • 15 road deaths over May Bank Holiday crashes in past five years

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána today called on drivers to slow down and keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on both urban and rural roads. This call comes following serious concerns over the number of cyclists killed on Irish roads this year.

To date in 2018, a total of 6 cyclists have died compared to 4 cyclist deaths up to the same period last year. This follows a 50% increase in cyclist fatalities in 2017. In response the RSA launched an awareness campaign in early March to educate drivers of the need to leave a safe distance when overtaking cyclists. The RSA recommends that drivers allow at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50km/hour and at least 1.5 metres when passing at speeds above 50km/hour.

Mr. Shane Ross TD, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said: “As Minister for Transport, I am committed to introducing regulations to mandate safe overtaking distances when passing cyclists in order to reduce the number of cycling deaths on our roads. Whether cycling for leisure or to commute, cycling has many health and environmental benefits and we need to actively support people who choose to travel that way. But every year there are several cycling fatalities on Irish roads and almost a thousand cyclists injured. One fatal road tragedy is one too many.  In 2017, there were 15 cyclists killed on our roads; a 50% increase on 2016. This is unacceptable and I hope that the introduction of the Minimum Passing Distance (MPD) will contribute positively to the safety of cyclists on our roads.

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “We are using the opportunity of the May Bank Holiday weekend to remind drivers to always allow safe passing distances for cyclists. We are very concerned about the increase in cycling fatalities and serious injuries across both 2017 and 2018 to date. As the weather improves and cycling continues to grow in popularity we will see more cyclists on our roads and the risks will increase. To protect cyclists we have launched a major road safety awareness campaign this year, asking motorists to pass cyclists at a safe distance and we are also investing in safe cycling training to teach both children and adults proper cycling skills. Last year the RSA invested €353,885 in cyclist safety awareness campaigns and cycling training nationwide.”

Assistant Commissioner, David Sheahan, Garda National Roads Policing Unit, said: “We are calling on drivers to heed their speed, slow down and keep their eyes on the road. It is important to be conscious of cyclists at junctions, particularly when turning left, to check the various driver blind spots and allow plenty of space when overtaking a cyclist. Our message for cyclists is to realise that the rules of the road apply to them also. This means not cycling on footpaths, not weaving in and out of traffic, stopping at traffic lights and signalling your intent when turning left or right.”

Mr Phil Skelton of the ‘Staying Alive at 1.5’ campaign said, “I am delighted to see the RSA safe passing ad so prominently displayed on our national media. Anecdotally, we are hearing of safer interactions between bicycle riders and motorists as a result. We look forward to this message becoming prominent in the next edition of the Rules of the Road, due out shortly, where it can become part of driver training.”

“Unfortunately 2018 has seen 6 bicycle riders die on our roads and this is the unacceptable face of road safety.  May of last year was the most lethal for bicycle riders with 4 fatalities in that month alone. I would appeal to other road users to be extra vigilant of our vulnerable road users.”

A total of 55 people have died on the roads to date in 2018. This represents an increase of one death compared to last year.

The Irish Times view on cycling infrastructure: time to get moving

There is a moral onus on the Government to invest in protecting cyclists

The statistics are stark. So far this year, six cyclists have been killed on Irish roads and many more injured, some very seriously. Last year, 15 died as a result of collisions with motor vehicles, more often than not on high-speed open roads, and hundreds more were injured. “One fatal road tragedy is one too many,” Minister for Transport Shane Ross has said. However, apart from introducing legislation to provide for minimum passing distances to protect vulnerable cyclists from reckless motorists, Ross cannot claim to be a champion of two-wheelers when his own department’s allocation for cycling infrastructure fell from €19 million in 2015 to €10.5 million in 2016 and just €7.5 million last year. These figures, which amount to less than 2 per cent of its capital budget, are so pathetically inadequate that they put Ireland close to the bottom among EU countries in this area.

Read article

Why I refuse to follow the law while cycling

For cyclists, ignoring the rules of the road can be a matter of survival

When the sun finally began to shine in the UK this month, I could not wait to drag out my bike to cycle to work.

As soon as I got on the road though, I was struck by a familiar thought: London cyclists are abominable. They sneak through red lights. They scoot along the pavement. They go up one-way streets the wrong way and zip over pedestrian crossings before pedestrians have had time to cross.

I say this with confidence, because I am one of them. I have done most of these things myself and a couple of others as well, as you would know if you had been at Smithfield meat market the other morning. [By Pilita Clark]

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Liz O’Donnell (RSA) criticises tiny minority of rural TDs, who are delaying the passage of vital lifesaving road safety legislation

Cyclist.ie strongly supports the view of the Road Safety Authority, as stated yesterday by its Chair Ms. Liz O’Donnell, in relation to the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, 2017 before the Oireachtas Transport Committee, where she called as ‘disgraceful and self-serving’ the behaviour and tactics employed by a tiny minority of rural TDs, who are delaying the passage of vital lifesaving road safety legislation.

Vulnerable road users (VRUs), in particular, need certainty that the driver behind the wheel is not impaired or distracted at all times. The new penalty set out in the Bill will focus the minds of those who continue to believe that it is safe to drink and then drive with a pint or two imbibed. Six people who cycle did not return home so far this year from their journey

Rural deputies need to reflect on the fact that a disproportionate number (8 out of 15) of cyclists died on rural roads in Ireland in 2017. The filibustering deputies need to look at the mote-in-the-eye: Co. Kerry: 3, Co. Cork: 3, Co. Mayo: 1

Chair of Cyclist.ie, Colm Ryder says: “The deputies filibustering on the passage of the Bill should face the fact that people are dying on our roads due to people driving under the influence, and unlicensed drivers driving unaccompanied. Cyclist.ie strongly supports the proposed Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2017 in its entirety, and urges our legislators to ratify it as soon as possible in order to save lives”.

Surely new politics has its focus on enhanced road safety for all road users and not delaying the introduction of life-saving regulations.

Further information: Colm Ryder: 087-237 6130; Mike McKillen: 087-2314 613

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.