Road safety officer wants law on gap between cars and cyclists

Former TD criticises new plans to legislate on cycling

“Last year, the Queensland minister for transport Scott Emerson announced a two-year trial of a minimum passing distance for motorists who are overtaking cyclists: one metre on roads with speed limits up to 60km/h and 1.5 metres on faster roads,” said Noel Gibbons, who is a road safety officer with Mayo County Council.

“Last year, the Queensland minister for transport Scott Emerson announced a two-year trial of a minimum passing distance for motorists who are overtaking cyclists: one metre on roads with speed limits up to 60km/h and 1.5 metres on faster roads,” said Noel Gibbons, who is a road safety officer with Mayo County Council.

 

A law obliging motorists to give cyclists a minimum amount of space when passing should be considered, a road safety official has suggested.

Commenting on the fact that 12 cyclists were killed on Irish roads in 2014 – and that there had been a 59 per cent increase in injuries – Noel Gibbons, who is a road safety officer with Mayo County Council, noted a recent measure taken in Australia in an effort to reduce cyclist accidents.

“Last year, the Queensland minister for transport Scott Emerson announced a two-year trial of a minimum passing distance for motorists who are overtaking cyclists: one metre on roads with speed limits up to 60km/h and 1.5 metres on faster roads,” said Mr Gibbons.

If Ireland was to introduce a similar rule, it would bring the country into line with several other EU member states where a 1.5-metre minimum passing distance has been adopted, such as Germany, Spain and, other than in urban areas where it is one metre, France,” he added.

Cyclist travelling from Wexford to Dublin

In a statement, he included a video, made by a cyclist travelling from Wexford to Dublin, showing what happened on a straight stretch of road.

“This car driver made no effort to overtake in a safe manner at all,” said Mr Gibbons. “The cyclist was wear bright yellow clothing stating give cyclists 1.5 metres when over taking.”

Meanwhile, plans to legislate this year against cyclists who break the law have been criticised by a Green Party councillor and former TD Ciarán Cuffe.

Under the plans, cyclists who break the law by failing to obey traffic lights, ride on footpaths, or ride on the wrong side of the road, will face fines of €50.

Yesterday, Cllr Cuffe described the fine proposal as a “ham-fisted approach” to the problem of what he describes as “dangerous cycling”.