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Road safety appeal for cyclists

As part of National Bike Week, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has unveiled a series of online videos aimed at promoting awareness and safety among cyclists and other road-users.

Using new technology to give viewers a 360 degree look at dangerous driving from a cyclist’s point of view, the videos allow the users to ‘look around’ and experience the dangers for themselves.

The videos focus on the high risk behaviours that put vulnerable cyclists in danger, such as drivers not allowing enough space when overtaking, opening a car door without checking, or making a left turn when a cyclist is approaching. As the viewer changes their viewpoint, they can look at the action from another angle, see the dangers and risks of dangerous driving behaviour, and experience the shock that comes with them.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive, Road Safety Authority 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. For example, drivers should allow at least 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist. This will help to ensure that cyclists have enough space if they need to adjust their steering or avoid an obstacle on the road. However, many cyclists tell us that they often feel that they are fighting for space with other vehicles and can feel intimidated and at risk of being hit. These videos allow viewers to experience very real dangers from a cyclist’s perspective and will hopefully make drivers more aware of the need to exercise caution when sharing the roads with vulnerable road-users.”

The first video, ‘1.5 Metre Gap’ demonstrates how drivers should allow at least 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist. The second video, ‘Turning Left’, highlights the need for drivers to check that there are no cyclists approaching before making a left-hand turn. The third video, ‘Opening Car Doors’, demonstrates how important it is for drivers to check that there are no oncoming cyclists before opening the door of their car. Failure to do this could knock a cyclist off their bike or cause them to veer into the path of oncoming traffic in order to avoid hitting the driver or car door.

Ms Murdock also highlighted the need for cyclists to be aware of their own vulnerability on the road.

“Cycling is an enjoyable activity with many health benefits and indeed there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people cycling in recent years. However, this doesn’t make you any less vulnerable. We would urge cyclists to be aware of their vulnerability when sharing the roads with bigger, more powerful vehicles, and to exercise common sense. Make sure you are visible to other road-users by wearing high visibility material. Wear a protective cycling helmet and follow the Rules of the Road. Simple, proactive steps will help to ensure you continue to cycle safely.”

For advice on how to cycle safely, visit http://www.rsa.ie/en/RSA/Pedestrians-and-Cyclists/Cycling-safety/

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