As part of National Bike Week which runs from Saturday 16th to Sunday 24th June, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking all cyclists, today Friday 15th June, to take to the road safely. All road users need to be aware there will be an increase in the number of cyclists on the road over this period, drivers in particular are asked to treat them with respect and to share the road safely.
Research has shown that over the period, 2001 to 2010, 111 pedal cyclists have been killed on Irish roads.
– 404 cyclists were killed or injured in 2010; 4.8% of all casualties for that year were cyclists
– 60% of cyclist killed were involved in a collision with a car in 2010
– 143 cyclists were injured in Dublin city in 2010
Mr. Noel Brett, Chief Executive, RSA said “National Bike Week, is a fun way to get out and about for some exercise. We would encourage everyone to use the road safely for national Bike Week, with various events taking place all around the country. Let’s make them memorable events for the right reasons.”
Mr. Brett added that ‘Drivers need to pay attention and be on guard for cyclists using the roads. You need to allow extra space when overtaking a cyclist and always anticipate a cyclist having to make a sudden move to avoid a pothole or obstruction. It’s also important to watch out for cyclists at junctions especially when turning left.”
“6 cyclists have tragically lost their lives on Irish roads to date this year. 9 cyclists died on our roads in 2011. We are only in the first 6 months of 2012 and the number of cyclist fatalities is a cause for concern. It will take a conscious effort from every road user to ensure that cyclists, and indeed all vulnerable road users, stay safe on the roads. I would ask you as a driver, to imagine you are sitting on the bike…are you really giving them enough room? Are you as patient with them, as you would like a driver to be with you? Put yourself in their shoes.”, he added.
Cyclists need to also be aware of the rules of the road. They are clear that a cyclist should not ride on or across a footpath, other than where a cycle track is provided. The RSA made available to each household in Ireland, a copy of the Rules of the Road which clearly outlines the road traffic rules on cycling. Please see the Rules of The Road for more information on the Do’s and Don’ts for cyclists.
The RSA has created an online video on how cyclists and HGV drivers can share the road safely. Many different types of road users share our roads, but can sometimes forget that with each road user, comes a different set of requirements. This online video gives cyclists the opportunity to see the challenges that face HGV drivers in negotiating the urban environment due to the size of their vehicles and also provides safety advice on how to accommodate these. HGV drivers can benefit from the reminder this video provides to be ultra cautious in areas where cyclists are present. The RSA has an online video educating cyclists and Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers on how to share the road safely. The six and a 1/2 minute video was produced to provide an educational resource to Goods vehicle drivers and cyclists on how to safely share the road, particularly in urban areas. The film is available to download from the RSA website, RSA YouTube site, Facebook page and Twitter.
To celebrate National Bike Week, the RSA is launching a high visibility giveaway on the RSA Facebook page for high vis bags, on Monday 18th June. Please seewww.facebook.com/RSAIreland to be in with a chance to get some!
Events will take place nationwide for National Bike Week, please seewww.bikeweek.ie or your local county council website.
For further information, please contact:
Communications, Road Safety Authority: 09625132
Please follow the link to download the film clipHGV and Cycling Safety Video or download thePedal Cyclists Road casualties 1998 to 2008(PDF).
RSA Top Tips for Safer Cycling:
Know and obey the Rules of the Road; Wear reflective clothing at all times; Always wear a helmet when on your bike; Your brakes, tyres, chain, lights, reflector and bell must be in good working order; It’s the law to have a bell on your bike. Use the bell as a warning, not for fun; Have appropriate lighting and reflectors on your bicycle – white or yellow lamps to the front and red at the back; Keep both hands on the handlebars, except when signalling or changing gears; Use hand signals when turning or stopping; Never cycle more than two abreast; Always cycle single-file when overtaking; Keep well back when cycling behind moving vehicles in all traffic; Never ride in the lane of oncoming traffic even if it is a bicycle lane or hard shoulder; Never take up a position on the ‘inside’ of a large vehicle out of view of the driver. Stay behind if the large vehicle has stopped at a junction with the intention of turning left; Never wear an mp3, iPod or use a mobile phone when cycling; Make sure your laces are tied to ensure they do not get caught in the bicycle chain; Take care on wet or icy roads, or when there is a strong wind; Use cycle tracks, where they are available; Use the Safe Cross Code if walking on the footpath with your bicycle.