Minister for Transport Shane Ross, the Road Safety Authority (RSA ) and An Garda Síochána have 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 regarding the number of cyclists killed on Irish roads this year.
To date in 2018, a total of six cyclists have died compared to four up to the same period last year. This follows a 50 per cent 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.
Minister Ross 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 per cent 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.”
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.