Paralympic cyclist issues plea to ‘share the road’

12.00 | 9 May 2016 |

Mayo County Council’s road safety officer has teamed up with Jerry Towey, one of Ireland’s elite Paralympic athletes, to produce a cycling awareness video.

We share the road, We share life’ highlights how important it is for motorists to give cyclists a ‘safe’ distance of 1.5 meters when overtaking.

Since being published last week, the video has received more than 1,200 views on YouTube.

In 1990, Jerry Towey was involved in a ‘life changing’ road traffic collision which resulted in the amputation of his left leg.

Now a para-cyclist with Cycling Ireland, Jerry missed out the 2013 World Para-cycling Championships after being hit by a car as it drove through a stop sign.

In the video, which demonstrates the feeling experienced by a cyclist when they are overtaken by a fast-moving vehicle at close quarters, Jerry Towey says: “It should not be cyclists versus motorists or motorists versus cyclists.

“Always leave a gap of 1.5 metres when overtaking a cyclist. 1.5 metres is approximately the width of a standard car.”

The video also features a number of interviews with members of the public which highlight a lack of awareness about the issue.

Noel Gibbons said: "Driving can be a stressful and challenging experience but with cyclists in the mix extra tensions can arise.

“Equally, cyclists are very vulnerable and the road can be a scary place if you don’t have the protective shell of a car body. That is why encouraging mutual respect and appreciation between car and bike users is so important."



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