Users of bicycles in Dublin “are a danger to themselves and traffic”, Senator John Kelly (Labour) has said.
In a debate on the Road Traffic Bill 2016, Kelly said: “The Minister mentioned cyclists. I have often meant to raise the issue of cyclists in Dublin. The city is wholly unsuitable for cyclists. They are a danger to themselves and traffic.”
He added: “While driving down a road with three or four lanes, one is conscious of what is in front of one and one has to take corrective action if something goes wrong. If there are cyclists to the right and left, and if one has to make a move, one of them will be in trouble. We do not have enough cycle lanes and cyclists are using the carriageway along with cars. It is a dangerous city in which to be a cyclist.”
Kelly also welcomed drug-driving testing and said “it might even take some of our politicians off the road”, and planned 20km/h speed limits. He said: “I also welcome the reduction in the speed limits in certain housing estates, particularly where children are at play. While most people are responsible on the road, it takes only one impetuous driver to cause an accident.”
The Senator also requested that drivers in their 70s or 80s on provisional licences be allowed to renew their licences without undergoing a theory test because the test is digitised and the drivers in question “do not use computers and do not understand the whole thing”.
Responding to the Senator, the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe (Fine Gael) said: “Senator Kelly raised a number of issues regarding cycling. I differ with him in that I believe the vast majority of cycling routes in our city are safe for cyclists and other road users. There is, however, an ongoing need to invest in proper infrastructure to make cycling as safe as possible.”
On the issue of licensing, Minister Donohoe said: “I recognise the Senator’s persistence because every time I have been in the House, he has raised one issue. If he is raising it on behalf of constituents, they can rest well assured that he has been an ongoing advocate on their behalf on this matter. I am afraid I am still not in a position to give him the answer he wants because it is important that people seeking a full driving licence should have passed the theory test.”