Cyclists are entitled to road space as much as cars, vans, goods vehicles or any other vehicle on the road. Motorists must keep a safe distance when over taking cyclists.  

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has launched a new TV led campaign to call on motorists to keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on urban and rural roads. The campaign aims to educate motorists on recommended minimum passing distances.

The message is clear give a 1 metre clearance when over taking a cyclist in areas 50km/h and under and 1.5 metres in areas over 50km/h

The TV campaign is an adaptation of an advert from the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) of the Victorian Government in Australia. The RSA secured a licence to reproduce it for public broadcast here in Ireland.

The commercial was identified by the RSA as a clear and engaging piece of communication that highlighted the correct road behaviour for motorists when overtaking cyclists in speed zones.

The new road safety campaign will be broadcast on TV from Monday 5 March and the campaign is supported by, radio, online and social media advertising. The 30 second TV ad provides visual cues to show a safe passing distance, with cyclists demonstrating the room required between their bike and a passing vehicle to stay safe.

Give the space to ride safe


Sharing the road with cyclists

This commercial aimed to educate drivers on sharing the roads safely with cyclists, and motorists’ responsibility to cyclists as vulnerable road users.

Although the commercial was primarily aimed at motorists, throughout the commercial the perspective changes between cyclists and motorists, swapping from one to the other as they encounter each other. This is to contrast the perceived safety of a car versus the vulnerability of a bike, and to make motorists aware of this vulnerability.

The general message is the need for drivers to properly observe the road at all times for the presence of cyclists, be they commuters, shoppers, family or racing groups. However, it focuses specifically on a number of key manoeuvres. These include:

  • Anticipating cyclists at junctions and checking the various driver blind spots.
  • Checking mirrors and blind spots when getting out of a parked vehicle to avoid the risk of ‘dooring’ a cyclist that might be passing by.
  • Allowing plenty of space when over-taking a cyclist, particularly when they are cycling in groups or two abreast.

Ultimately, we are asking motorists to be respectful of cyclists and mindful of how they use the road. We all share the road, and if we’re considerate of each other, we’ll see fewer needless collisions and deaths.

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