Wednesday 26 June 2019

Casserly backs Ross cycle plan

Councillor Marie Casserly has hailed as a 'life saver' new measures introduced by Transport Minister Shane Ross to give cyclists more room when being overtaken.

Minister Ross said he will legislate for a Minimum Passing Distance which will entail a one metre on roads with a speed limit not exceeding 50 km/h and 1.5 metres on all other roads.

Local Independent Alliance councillor, Marie Casserly said it was something she had been lobbying for over the past four years.

"It's a great decision to keep cyclists safer on our roads," she said.

Minister Ross said: "I have been extremely concerned about the rise in cyclist fatalities on our roads.

"In 2017, there were 15 cyclists killed, which was a 50% increase on 2016.

"Clearly this is an intolerable situation which has to change. Every life lost on our roads is a tragedy and, as Minister for Transport, I am committed to do everything within my power to prevent preventable road deaths.

"It was brought to my attention that other jurisdictions apply a Minimum Passing Distance and I determined to undertake research to see if such legislation would benefit Irish cyclists."

Minister Ross directed the RSA to carry out a study of best international practice.

"While the report states that little conclusive evidence is currently available to support or rebut claims that MPD legislation will specifically address cyclist fatalities, greater awareness by both motorists and cyclists while overtaking was recognised as having safety benefits.

Minister Ross said; "If such awareness entails safer driving and fewer fatalities then it will be worth introducing the necessary legislation."

Minister Ross added; "I am also proposing that the effectiveness of the new regulations be reviewed twelve months after their introduction."

In the interim, the Road Safety Authority will be launching an awareness campaign recommending that drivers allow at least one metre overtaking distance when passing cyclists in speed zones up to 50 km/h and at least 1.5 metres when passing on roads with speed limits of over 50 km/hour.

Sligo Champion