Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD says his party will continue with its efforts to introduce new legislation aimed at improving road safety for cyclists.
Deputy Troy made the comments after Minister for Transport Shane Ross suggested that he will not introduce a new law to penalise drivers who over-take cyclists too closely.
The Fianna Fáil TD says that his party has secured cross-party support for its proposal to introduce minimum pass distances for drivers over-taking cyclists.
Deputy Troy said, “Minister Ross should be working to make these proposals workable instead of seeking to block them at every turn. Cyclists face a myriad of hazards on our roads. The road safety statistics show that this is a growing issue. 27 cyclists died on the roads between 2010 and 2013. This figure increased to 46 between 2014 and 2017. New measures are clearly needed to improve road safety for cyclists.
“The introduction of minimum passing distances would have a positive impact on road safety for cyclists. Such measures have been introduced in other countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada and France and have worked in practice. We already know from previous experience that the introduction of road safety laws can and does alter the behaviour of motorists.
“Fianna Fáil will be bringing forward an amendment to the Road Traffic Bill in the coming weeks to create minimum passing distances for motorists overtaking cyclists. This life saving measure could be law within a matter of weeks if Minister Ross is upfront with people and accepts the amendment. His Government colleagues Minister Doherty and Minister Cannon are supportive of this measure and have published a similar Bill. We should work collectively to make this a reality.
“The indications are that this amendment will pass through the Dáil with cross-party support. Minister Ross must focus on implementing this proposal instead of trying to undermine it at every opportunity,” concluded Deputy Troy.