The Road Safety Authority (RSA), in conjunction with a number of other bodies, is urging drivers to share the road safely with cyclists. Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, Department of Transport Tourism and Sport and An Garda Síochána are also urging drivers to give space to cyclists ahead of National Bike Week.
National Bike Week takes place from Saturday June 10 to Sunday June 18 inclusive. The call comes as 9 cyclists have been killed on the nation’s roads to date in 2017. This is compared to 3 deaths up to the same period in 2016.
Mr Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said, “whether cycling for leisure or to commute, cycling has many health and environmental benefits. We all have a responsibility, whether as motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians to share the road in a safe and responsible manner. I am urging drivers to please slow down.”
Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said, “cyclists are among our most vulnerable road-users, yet many drivers do not demonstrate enough caution and awareness when sharing the road with cyclists. Drivers need to pay greater attention to their speed, as drivers are becoming increasing distracted by mobile devices and they are also speeding in our towns and cities. Our own studies have found that 82% of drivers are exceeding the 50km/h speed limit in urban national areas.
Colm Ryder, Chairperson of Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, said: “National Bike Week is a celebration of all the positive things that cycling is about. We are asking drivers to support that mood of celebration, by being more aware of cyclists and pedestrians using our roads, by obeying speed limits, by driving slowly and by providing adequate space when passing. Please drive slower, live longer and save lives!”
Superintendent Con O’Donohue of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said, “to support National Bike Week, Gardaí will be focusing on speed enforcement through the deployment of the GoSafe network around the country. While enforcement will focus on all routes there will be a particular emphasis on enforcement of speed limits in our towns and cities, areas that are rich in vulnerable road users.”
National Bike Week is a celebration and promotion of all that is great about bikes and cycling held over a week in June of each year with bike themed events organised by local authorities, community groups and cycling groups throughout Ireland. For more details on National Bike Week and to find an event near you visit www.bikeweek.ie