Thank you for visiting the Safe Cycling Ireland website.
By way of introduction, my name is Phil Skelton. I live in Wexford and I am a member of Slaney Cycling Club in Enniscorthy.
When I first took up cycling seriously around four years ago, I became acutely aware of its inherent dangers from listening to other cyclists and also from personal experience of being grazed by a driver’s wing mirror whilst being overtaken. This unnerved me massively, realising the fine line between wobbling in to the nearby ditch and a potentially more severe outcome.
Then, in February 2013, following the alarming death of a second cyclist on Wexford roads over a 12 month period, I was moved to doing some research on what other countries had done about this particular problem. 28 US states have dealt with this by passing legislation specifying a safe overtaking space. This particular law states that drivers must maintain a specified safe distance while overtaking a cyclist. This specified distance varies from country to country but the internationally recognised safe distance is 1.5 metres. Countries across Europe including Spain, France, Belgium and most recently, Portugal have adopted this specified safe overtaking space. Queensland, Australia too is set to trial this law later this year.
I decided to do some research and having lived in Australia for 10 years, was drawn to some campaigns there. With some kind words of encouragement from Dave Sharp of safe cycling Australia and his willingness to assist in whatever way he could, I set up Ireland’s campaign to have 1.5 metres of overtaking space written into Irish law in conjunction with a safety campaign. In line with some overseas campaigns, this comes with a cycling specific safety jersey to help promote the ‘1.5 metres please share the road’ message.
There are other cycling campaigns out there but my intention was to narrow the focus to that of 1.5 metres safe overtaking as I feel in doing so, there is a greater chance of success.
I’m not in this for any personal gain or fame. I believe that there is some worrying animosity out on our roads between cyclists and motorists. This isn’t helped by the ambiguouty of out current overtaking law. I don’t believe this problem will go away without the protection provided by a safe overtaking law and an associated advertising campaign.
I would urge you to lobby politicians and associated local representatives and help advance the mounting calls for safer cycling.
Please click on the button below that will take you to a suggested campaign letter to our Minister for transport.
Safe Cycling Ireland.
Suggested letter that you can send to our Minister for Transport