Fianna Fáil says it will extend the distance to overtake cyclists

Party’s transport spokesman says new laws required to improve road safety for cyclists

Cyclists lying on the road during a Stop Killing Cyclists  demonstration outside the Dáil organised by  Dublin cycling groups. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Cyclists lying on the road during a Stop Killing Cyclists demonstration outside the Dáil organised by Dublin cycling groups. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

Fianna Fáil has said it will introduce legislation extending the minimum distance motorists must leave when overtaking a cyclist.

Robert Troy, the party’s spokesman on transport, said new laws were required to improve road safety for cyclists.

His statement follows a Stop Killing Cyclists demonstration outside the Dáil on Tuesday which in turn reflected on the level of deaths so far in 2017.

“We need to see an increase in the minimum required distance between a motorist and cyclist when overtaking. Accordingly, I will shortly bring forward an amendment to the Road Traffic Bill to bring about such a change,” Mr Troy said.

Last February Fine Gael proposed similar legislation that would require motorists to pass cyclists no closer than 1.5m on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or higher. On roads where the speed limit is under 50km/h, the safe passing distance would be set at 1m.

According to the Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017, drivers found to have breached the rules would receive an €80 fine and three penalty points.

Mr Troy said 14 cyclists had already been killed this year, an increase of four on 2016. Stop Killing Cyclists had detailed “the challenges they face on a daily basis as they try and navigate busy roads”.

“Many of them have been lucky to avoid serious injury in recent years. Their accounts clearly demonstrate that additional measures are needed to promote road safety for cyclists.”

He said there was a need for the Government to introduce segregated cycle lanes and to ensure greater enforcement of laws governing the use of existing lanes.