The bells are ringing and they are not bicycle bells as the number of cyclists killed this year to-date hits eight.
DRIVERS in Ireland who are donning their cycle helmets to avoid rising petrol costs are being urged to make sure their cycling skills are up to scratch and drivers are reminded of the law in relation to dangerous overtaking which includes overtaking cyclists.
Mayo County Council's road safety Officer is asking potential cyclists brush up on their skills in order to pedal safely.
Noel Gibbons, said: "With the price of petrol increasing, many commuters may find cycling a cheaper alternative to driving.
"Cycling is a great way to save money and keep fit but it's important to make sure you know how to do it safely before getting on your bike."
The road safety section has advised cyclists to: Download a free app to check out your cycle skills (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/essential-cycling-skills/id815556609?mt=8)
* Be aware - cycling on busy roads is much different from quiet rural locations, so make sure you look out for hazards.
* Know the rules of the road - get to know the correct hand signals and where you can and can't ride your bike.
* Use your head - helmets are a must whether you think they look good or not.
* Check it out - carry out a bike check before you set off. This is particularly important if your bike has been stuck in the shed for the past few months.
* Be seen - try and wear bright clothes when cycling during the day and reflective clothes at night. This will help other road users to easily spot you.
* Position yourself - think ahead and make sure you position your bike in a place where you'll be safe as you ride.
* Be Aware of blind spots -
Don't take chances, be it traffic lights, zebra crossing or tight spaces, the cyclist always comes out second best.
The RSA statistics have cyclist deaths as 2013=5, 2012=8, 2011=9, 2010=5, 2009=7. This is an average of 7.5 cyclist deaths per year.
According to Garda statistics, eight cyclists have now been killed on the country's roads this year.
Research has shown that over the period, 1998 to 2008:144 cyclists were killed on Irish roads.
Of these, 33% were involved in a collision with a goods vehicle. 30% of the collisions occurred during evening rush hour.
‘‘Drivers need to take special care and understand that cyclists are entitled to road space as much as any other vehicle on the road. It's important that drivers anticipate cyclists at blind spots and to give at least a 1.5m clearance when overtaking a cyclist,'' said Noel Gibbons.
How many times have you been passed where the driver has brushed against your elbow or shoulder but you have not been knocked off your bike? This type of driving is an offence set out in SI No. 182 of 1997. s. 10
The law says:
1. (1) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, if to do so would endanger, or cause inconvenience to, any other person.
(2) A driver shall not overtake, or attempt to overtake, unless the roadway ahead of the driver-
( a ) is free from approaching traffic, pedestrians and any obstruction, and
( b ) is sufficiently long and wide to permit the overtaking to be completed without danger or inconvenience to other traffic or pedestrians.
It is a stated penalty-point offence with 2 points and a fine of €80.