There will be more cyclists on Irish roads this summer enjoying the warmer weather with the success of the bike to work scheme, an extending cycle network, and a growing interest in people to keep fit.
A campaign to remind motorists not to park or drive in cycle lanes has been launched in Co Mayo called Operation Cycle lane.
“Driving can be a stressful and challenging experience and with cyclists in the mix extra tensions often arise. Equally, cyclists are very vulnerable and the road can be a scary place if you don’t have the protective shell of a car body. That is why encouraging mutual respect and appreciation between car and bike users through the cycle lane campaign is so important. If more awareness is placed around the use of cycle lanes more students can cycle to school. Traffic wardens will be on an extra look out for offenders,” explained Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, Mayo County Council.
The campaign provides an excellent reminder to motorists to take care around cyclists on the road. Looking out for cyclists, giving cyclists more room while overtaking, and not driving or parking in cycle lanes are a few simple measures that motorists can take to help improve road safety for cyclists and themselves.
The campaign reinforces that motorists and cyclists are subject to the same road code meaning that cyclists have to observe the rules and courtesies expected of motorised vehicles on the road, and in turn, they need to be treated with similar respect by motorists.
“It is great to see more cyclists on the roads as cycling is fun, efficient, good for you, and frees up congested streets. But safety is a concern, so we hope that this campaign helps raise motorist awareness while also reinforcing the importance for cyclists to ensure they are visible to motorists. Extra focus will be placed on those who offend these traffic laws,” advised Castlebar based Chief Superintendent Tom Curley.
“As more people are starting to cycle on our roads it's vital that drivers know not to drive or park in cycle lanes. Cyclists must also practice the rules of the road. Mutual respect between the driver and cyclist will result in happy and safe roads,” added Eva Gannon, An Taisce Green Schools.
Operation Cycle will demonstrate the importance of integrating multi-agencies, advertising and the media to deliver a strong road safety message to save lives.