Stickybottle

Most important photo Irish cyclists will see this year; here’s why

Posted on: June 19th, 2017

 important photo Irish cyclists

The Garda is finally getting serious about an issue Ireland has fallen behind on and which is crucial for Irish cyclists.

 

Important photo for Irish cyclists; here’s why

 

It may be an extremely simple piece of kit, but it will hopefully prove the beginnings of a safety revolution for Irish cyclists.

For the last couple of years here on stickybottle we’ve covered a lot of fatal collisions in which cyclists have lost their lives.

And we’ve also published numerous stories about different UK police force’s launching safe-passing operations.

Finally, we’re delighted to report that the Garda is following that example, with a little help from Stayin’ Alive at 1.5.

The campaign has been central to the push for new close-pass legislation that would make it a criminal offence for motorists to pass cyclists too closely.

While the legislation has not been enacted, it has been promised.

And under its terms motorists would be compelled to give cyclists at least 1 metre or 1.5 metres, depending on the speed limit of the road they’re driving on, when passing.

In the UK the police forces there have sensibly taken an education approach at first. They’ve brought motorists onto a safe pass mat and explained how they should pass cyclists.

That tactic is used as an alternative to jumping straight to a prosecution for those motorists detected close passing by the UK police, some officers undercover as cyclists in full kit.

Now Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 has launched the first safety mat for use by the Garda in the Republic of Ireland.

It was unveiled yesterday with the assistance of the Garda Traffic corps at out The Wexford Bus 1 point 5 ride sportive on Sunday.

 

 important photo Irish cyclists

 important photo Irish cyclists

The RSA close-pass safety literature and Stayin’ Alive at 1.5’s new kit by Spin11.com

 

Phil Skelton, the main driving force behind the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign explains the mat thus:

“The mat itself is 4 metres by 6 metres. It is to scale to reflect real life situations where a motorist may encounter a person on a bicycle and the expectation and due care expected when overtaking.

“The far left verge of the mat has a road imperfection and a drain which explains one of the reasons why the bicycle rider might occupy this position, known as secondary position, on the road.

“This is illustrated by the orange bird’s eye view of the bicycle rider. The grey shaded area is to represent the rider’s space on the bicycle.

“In order the make this easy for non cycling motorists to understand, the mat has black parallel lines which represent where a car driver might position himself/herself on such a road in terms of the near side and far side wheel.

“The arrows then correspond to the RSA recommendations of a minimum passing distance as proposed in the private members bill currently in the Dáil.

“This (is) a minimum of 1 metre in speed zones of 50kmph or less and 1.5 metres in speed zones greater than this as represented by the 80kmph sign.

“The second grey rectangle in the education mat represents where a bicycle rider might occupy primary position in areas where there may be parked cars or where the rider is about to make a right turn etc.

“For demonstration purposes, a vehicle will be driven over the mat adjacent to the outside of whichever arrow and show what this distance looks like in real life.

“This has been working very successfully in the U.K. and will be a valuable tool in the education of motorists as to how to overtake people on bicycles safely.”

 

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