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Time for Ross to appoint advocate for cyclists to Road Safety Authority

8 January 2018

Statement by Senator Kevin Humphreys
Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport

Welcoming the appointment today of road safety advocates to the RSA Board, Labour spokesperson on Transport, Senator Kevin Humphreys has called on Minister Ross to continue this approach and appoint an advocate for cyclists to reverse the 50% increase in cyclist deaths seen in 2017.

Senator Humphreys said:

"The move by Minister Ross to appoint two prominent road safety campaigners to the board of the Road Safety Authority today is welcome, but more can be done to improve road safety. The Minister was right to appoint Gillian Treacy and Donna Price today who will bring invaluable insight and experience to the Board.

"However, the shocking figures from 2017 of a 50 per cent rise in the number of cyclists’ deaths on Irish roads shows more needs to be done to make cycling safer here.

"The Minister for Transport could make a real difference to road safety by ensuring an advocate for cyclists is appointed to the Board of the Road Safety Authority. The data shows there were twice as many cyclists killed in 2017 compared to the previous year, with 15 people losing their lives on their bikes last year.

“When the RSA figures were analysed by the Dublin Cycling Campaign, it was found that all of those fatal cycling crashes involved other motor vehicles, with 87 per cent of collisions happening during the day.

“If we are serious about promoting cycling as a healthy, enjoyable and efficient mode of transport, we need to ensure we have the infrastructure to match, and it is absolutely imperative that our roads are safe for cyclists to travel on.

“Just three million euro was pledged to cycling in this year’s budget, which is simply not enough to ensure our roads are equipped for cyclists.

"One way the Minister could make a difference would be to ensure that cyclists have a voice on the Road Safety Authority to argue for the investment and rules needed to protect and foster cycling.

“Just one death on our roads is one too many and we need to ensure that cyclists are protected as much as possible on Irish roads.”