There will be more cyclists on Irish roads this summer enjoying the warmer weather with the success of the bike to work scheme, an extending cycle network and a grown interest in people keeping fit.
A campaign to remind motorists not to park or drive in cycle lanes has been launched in Co. Mayo called ‘Operation Cycle lane''.
"Driving can be a stressful and challenging experience and with cyclists in the mix extra tensions often 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 through the cycle lane campaign is so important. If more awareness is placed around the use of cycle lanes more students can cycle to school. Traffic wardens will be on an extra look out for offenders." said Mr Noel Gibbons Road Safety Officer Mayo County Council.
"The campaign provides an excellent reminder to motorists to take care around cyclists on the road. Looking out for cyclists, giving cyclists more room while overtaking and not drive or park in cycle lanes are a few simple measures that motorists can do to help improve road safety for cyclists and themselves."
The campaign reinforces that motorists and cyclists are subject to the same road code meaning that cyclists have to observe the rules and courtesies expected of motorised vehicles on the road and in turn, they need to be treated with similar respect by motorists.
"It is great to see more cyclists on the roads as cycling is fun, efficient, good for you, and frees up congested streets. But safety is a concern, so we hope that this campaign helps raise motorist awareness while also reinforcing the importance for cyclists to ensure they are visible to motorists. Extra focus will be placed on those who offend these traffic laws." said Castlebar based Chief Superintendent Tom Curley.
" As more people are starting to cycle on our roads it's vital that drivers know not to drive or park in cycle lanes. Cyclists must also practice the rules of the road. Mutual respect between the driver and cyclist will result in happy and safe roads." Miss Eva Gannon Green Schools An Taisce
Operation cycle will demonstrate the importance of integrating multi-agencies, advertising and the media to deliver a strong road safety message to save lives.
A cycle track or lane is a reserved part of a roadway for bicycles (not motorcycles) and can be either:
mandatory, or non-mandatory.
A mandatory cycle track is bordered by a continuous white line on the right hand side. It is only for bicycles and motorised wheelchairs, so no other drivers may use it or park in it.
A non-mandatory cycle track has a broken white line on the right-hand side. The cyclist may leave this type of cycle track if:
- they have already indicated they want to change direction,
- a bus is letting passengers on or off at a bus stop located beside the track, or a vehicle is parked in the track while loading or unloading (see Section 10).
- Mandatory cycle tracks are reserved 24 hours a day, unless an upright information sign at the start of and/or the side of the track shows another period of time.
A cycle track can also be a reserved part of a footpath or other area off the road. A cyclist must use a cycle track if it is provided.
If a cycle track is two-way, meaning bicycles travelling in opposite directions at the same time can use it, cyclists should stay as near as possible to the left-hand side of their track.
You must obey cycle track lights.
Rules on cycle tracks for other road users
No vehicle (other than a motorised wheelchair) may cross into or over a mandatory cycle track unless the driver is entering or leaving a place or a side road.
No driver may park a vehicle in a mandatory cycle track.
A driver may park in a non-mandatory cycle track for up to 30 minutes, but only if they are loading or unloading their vehicle and there is no alternative parking available. Remember the basic duty of care and do not obstruct a cycle track.
If a driver parks their vehicle in a cycle track that operates for only some of the day (shown on an information plate under the cycle track sign), they must move the vehicle by the time the next operating period starts.
If there is no information plate, it means the cycle track operates all the time and no parking is allowed.
Penalty points and fixed charge offences
Offence: Driving on a cycle track
Penalty Points on Payment: 1
Penalty Points on Conviction: 3
Amount paid in 28 days: €60
Amount paid in next 28 days: €90