The Road Safety Authority (RSA), Cyclist.ie the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, and An Garda Síochána are urging drivers to be aware of cyclists and to give them the space to ride safe when overtaking during Bike Week, which runs until June 17.
Cyclists are also being reminded to follow the Rules of the Road.
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 - not only during the upcoming National Bike Week, but every day of the year.
The organisations have three important pieces of advice for drivers:
- give cyclists the space to ride safe when overtaking them. (One metre in speed zones under 80km/h and 1.5 metres in zones over 80km/h). Cyclists can be thrown off course by sudden gusts of wind or when having to avoid uneven road surfaces
- check mirrors regularly. Remember a cyclist could be in your blind spot. Look carefully before making your manoeuvre
- if you or passengers are getting out of the vehicle make sure you check for passing cyclists before opening the door.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross said that National Bike Week was a great way to get out and about for air and exercise, particularly in the summer sunshine.
"I would encourage everyone to use the road safely, look out for each other and enjoy the various activities taking place all around the country," he said.
Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, appealed to drivers to 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 and when pulling away from the kerb," she said.
Colm Ryder, chairof Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, said: "National Bikeweek is a great celebration of the bicycle and hundreds of events will be taking place around the country. So why not leave the car at home, if you can, this week, and get on your bike. However you are travelling, make sure to be safe, drive slowly, and respect other road users at all times.”