Making a complaint to Dublin Bus or another vehicle operator can be enhanced with a request for the CCTV footage. This is your right under GDPR; similar applies to coach companies. Read more
Cyclists have called for more action by gardaí to protect cyclists after a number of apparent road rage incidents emerged in videos on social media.
The call came after dash-cam footage of an incident involving a cyclist and taxi driver on Belvedere Road between North Circular Road and Dorset Street in north Dublin was published on social media on Wednesday.
Read article (which contains video)
In 2017, Deputy Catherine Murphy addressed a question in the Dail about the management of the cycle training programme Cycle Right, specifically the anticipated increase in cycling to school and the benchmark for success. This was against a background in the UK of increased training having no significant effect on cycling levels unless accompanied by the provision of high quality infrastructure.
The response by Minister Shane Ross was in short that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport had no idea about how effective the scheme would be and did not have any benchmark for success.
In 2018, one year on from having introduced the scheme, Deputy Catherine Murphy again asked about the effectiveness of Cycle Right. ( See full transcript of question and answer) In a rambling response, the Minister Shane Ross confirmed that there was no data available on the number of children cycling to school directly as a result of Cycle Right training.
He did state that in 2017, 15,245 pupils participated in Cycle Right training in 428 schools. which means that 4% of primary schools pupils (if only primary schools took part) 1 or 2.7% of all pupils received cycle training. He went on to state that
“This cycle training ……. will result, over time, in an increase in the number of responsible cyclists on our roads. As Cycle Right is essentially a training programme, we will continue to monitor it based on the number of participants ……
There is no evidence that cycle training on its own will lead to increased cycling. In stating the increase in terms of additional responsible cycling, it could be interpreted that there would be no additional cyclists – only more ‘responsible’ ones. The statement that they will continue to monitor Cycle Right based on the number of participants is “flannel”. Of course the Department is going to continue to monitor the scheme as it is funded on the basis of a payment per head.
The response to the parliamentary question then rambles on to discuss the Green Schools programme although Green Schools were not referred to in the question. The Green School programme monitors the number of children travelling by active means but only those schools which are participating in the Travel Module. Any school which is not participating in the Travel Module or in the Green Schools programme is not monitored. The survey results report an increase from 3% to 4% over two years. This is more selective hype and spin by the Minister and his Department as they aggregate the results over more than one year in order to boost the results.
So now we know that only a small percentage of pupils receive cycle training and nobody has any idea about its effectiveness. This lack of interest in its outcome begs the question what is this Minister and / or senior management doing?
A study led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) has found that expanding designated cycling networks in cities could provide considerable health and economic benefits, with a rate of return of up to 70 € for every euro invested.
The analysis – part of European Commission funded Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project – of data from 167 European cities suggests that the length of cycling infrastructures is associated with a cycling mode share of up to 24.7%, in which 1 in every 4 citizens would choose the bicycle for their daily commuting. The study, published in Preventive Medicine, estimates that if all the assessed cities achieved a 24.7% bicycle mode share, over 10,000 premature deaths could be avoided annually. Read article
The epidemic of physical inactivity was the main topic of discussion at the Sport intergroup conference in the European Parliament (EP) last week. Its €80 billion cost, first raised by Marisa Fernandez Esteban of the EU Sport Unit was repeated over and over. ECF’s response to this public health crisis is the EU Cycling Strategy, with its 2030 aims to increase cycling by 50%, reduce cycling fatalities by 50%, thereby adding 225,000 jobs and 250 billion euros to the cycling economy. “If every EU citizen did just 15 minutes more of cycling or walking each day, we’d save 100,000 lives from unnecessary early deaths each year,” said ECF health policy officer Dr. Randy Rzewnicki. “Walking and cycling is the best buy for EU cities and towns,” he said, “We’re working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to make that message clear in many ways: including free training in the Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) and supporting the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA).” Read article
Cycling is growing in popularity but accident rates are rising. Where, when and why do they happen?
This guide to the 15 deaths in 2017 show that nearly half of fatal bike crashes in 2017 occurred on a Sunday. And most of them were during daylight hours.
- 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.
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.
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]
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