Cyclists lie down on Kildare Street in protest at road deaths

More then 100 cyclists stage peaceful protest to acknowledge those losing their lives

Cyclists held a “Die-In” outside the Dail today in protest at the latest death of a cyclist on the Dublin streets. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Cyclists held a “Die-In” outside the Dail today in protest at the latest death of a cyclist on the Dublin streets. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

More than 100 cyclists lay down on the street with their bikes outside the Dáil on Wednesday in a peaceful attempt to ask legislators and other road users to “stop killing cyclists”.

Cyclist Kevin O’Farrell asked attendees at the protest to peacefully lie across the street acknowledging that the recent death of a young man was the fifth cyclist to be killed on the roads this year. He said 15 were killed last year while measures could and should be taken to protect them.

Among the participants Robbie Bowen from Dun Laoghaire said he was concerned about the growth in the number of construction vehicles where drivers were hurried and under stress. As someone who cycled frequently from Dun Laoghaire to Mulhuddart and back he said he regularly sees drivers looking at phones and driving erratically.

Fellow cyclist and vice president of the European Cyclists Federation Dr Damian Ó Tuama said cyclists needed dedicated cycle lanes of about two-and- a half metres wide and “thoughtfully constructed” junctions. He welcomed the agreement by Minister for Transport Shane Ross to introduce minimum passing distances for motorists passing cyclists but said more leadership was needed to protect cyclists’ lives.

Dr Ó Tuama said an initiative banning lorries which do not provide the driver with suitable visibility had been introduced in London and he would like to see it introduced here.

He said lorry cabs were constructed to different designs and as a result many drivers had different levels of visibility. The introduction of minimum standards for visible zones would help when cyclists came into contact with lorries, he said. He also welcomed the introduction of new 30km/hr zones in the capital which he said would give drivers a little bit more time to spot cyclists.

Chairman of Dublin City Council’s transport committee Ciarán Cuffe was also at the protest with his bicycle. Mr Cuffe, a longtime cyclist in the city, said he was present to represent the council and show support for the campaign to save lives.