The boss of a truck transport association has told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that headphones should be banned on public roads for pedestrians and cyclists, cyclists should wear helmets and high-vis, and that cyclists should undergo training and receive penalty points for breaking the law.
According to BreakingNews.ie, Verona Murphy, the president of the Irish Road Haulage Association, told the Oireachtas committee that all of this would be from a “road safety perspective”.
Murphy’s comments come the day after University College Dublin publicised a study which found that truck drivers often did not even known they had knocked down a pedestrian or cyclist until they were stopped.
Professor Anne Drummond of the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science st University College Dublin, who led the study team, said: “The most striking depositions are those in which drivers of large vehicles were largely unaware of the collision with a pedestrian or a cyclist, until they were halted by a witness further on in their journey.”
“These situations could almost certainly be reduced by introducing measures to increase visibility in and around sections of large working vehicles traditionally known as ‘blind spots’ and improving the awareness among pedestrians and cyclists of such blind spots,” she added.
“With increasing volumes of traffic, including work related traffic, these findings should be of real concern to road safety, public health, occupational health and regulatory authorities,” said Professor Drummond.
Irish Rail have also many times in recent years highlighted how truck drivers regularly run into well-marked railway bridges. It is also unclear how helmets would help in truck/bicycle fatal collisions which often result in crushing of cyclist.
BreakingNews.ie quoted Murphy as having said: “The provisions in relation to cycling should be made around the safety of the cyclist from the perspective of protecting themselves – helmets, hi-vis jackets.”
She said: “Cyclists will take risks that we don’t encourage, we can’t do anything about them, the visibility from a truck is restricted.”
The news website also reports Murphy as stating that cyclists should have to pass a test and get “penalty points for bad practices.”
The stance from the Irish Road Haulage Association follows the “Trucks in the City” seminar in January — an event supported by two state bodies but which included a guest speaker from London who previously written that cyclists should “stop acting the victim” and “should pay insurance to use public roads”.