Mayo County Council has become the first authority in Ireland to introduce a ‘too close for comfort’ initiative, reminding drivers to give sufficient space when overtaking cyclists.
Launched to coincide with Bike Week (10-18 June), the initiative also encourages motorists to take more care in looking for cyclists at junctions.
The campaign resources include an ‘informative’ booklet and new road signage, both designed to highlight the importance of sharing the road. The campaign messages are also being promoted on social media.
Noel Gibbons, Mayo’s road safety officer, says that campaign isn’t about penalising any particular road user group, but making sure roads are safer for everyone.
He said: “Through initiatives such as this we want to remind motorists and cyclists how vital it is that they abide by the laws of the road at all times.
“This type initiative has been successfully used in the UK and has increased driver awareness in identifying cyclists and other vulnerable road users.”
The Highway Code states that drivers should allow vulnerable road users, including cyclists and horse riders, as much room as they would a car when overtaking.
County Mayo says that a student participating in a practical driving test would fail if they overtake without giving sufficient space (approximately 1.5 metres) – and the driving test can be regarded as the required standard of a careful and competent driver when considering prosecution.
Noel Gibbons added: "As a council we want to make County Mayo somewhere that offers a high quality and safe environment for cyclists in which to ride across the county.
“While there is certainly a lot that we and partners can do to make this ambition a reality by continuing to invest significantly in cycling facilities and infrastructure, we cannot do it alone.
“Everyone needs to play their part, and there is no doubt we also need the support of motorists that share the road with cyclists on a day-to-day basis.”
Want to know more about cycling and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory