Irish parliament to debate mandatory high-vis for pedestrians and cycling passing distance law

— High-vis law would apply to motorists and cyclists who have exited their cars or dismounted their bicycles.

The Houses of Oireachtas transport committee is tomorrow to debate a host of amendments to the Road Traffic Act, including mandatory high-vis for pedestrians on unlit roads and streets, and a minimum passing distance for motorists overtaking people on bicycles.

The full text of the amendments can be found at oireachtas.ie.

The main amendment in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 — which is proposed by the government — looks to close a loop hole which allows drivers caught drink driving to avoid losing their license.

This opens up the Road Traffic Acts to amendments of the road traffic laws from other parliamentarians.

The separate amendments for mandatory high-vis for pedestrians on unlit roads and streets, and a minimum passing distance for motorists overtaking people on bicycles, are both proposed by Robert Troy, a TD for Longford and Westmeath and the transport spokesman for Fianna Fáil.

Other amendments include making it easier to put traffic calming in place and for school school wardens to be used at private roads, both proposals for the Green Party TDs Catherine Martin and Eamon Ryan.

While Sinn Fein TD Imelda Munster wants the transport minister to look at the feasibility of expanding existing rural transport schemes to incorporate transport to rural licenced premises.

After the transport committee debates the issues the amendments would be still subject to the approval of the Dail, as well as oversight of the upper house, the Seanad, before becoming law or being rejected.

13 Comments

  1. Have u confirmation for that bit in bold under photo re exit car/ dismount from bike?

  2. @Joan — yes, everyone becomes a pedestrian when they leave their vehicles. It’s something often overlooked but crystal clear in law.

  3. I don’t know how this works, but can each amendment be accepted / rejected independently of the others?

  4. This very much looks like Robert Troy is trying to ensure a bill which will increase penalties for drink driving does not get passed.

    If this passes, which it probably won’t with the Troy amendments, I’m willing to bet we won’t see motorists having to wear high-viz. Sure they are only hopping out of the car and running in to the shop, there’s no need for high-viz for that! Only those deviants who choose to walk or cycle will be required to wear distinctive clothing.

  5. Yes, each are independently rejected or accepted.

  6. @Eric, my understanding is that filibustering doesn’t really work in the Irish context. But cycling groups were likely to have been larger opponents of the high-vis measure if they were not busy supporting the passing distance measure.

  7. The Galway Cycling Campaign have contacted Robert Troys office requesting that the amendment be withdrawn. Same approach has been made to the vice chair of the committee.

    https://twitter.com/GalwayCycling/status/968511893928325120

    Other cycling campaigns seem to be taking the view that the amendment is nothing to do with them. This is not a supportable or credible position in my view. It will look very very bad if the cycling “community” were happy to push an mpdl and then sat back and did nothing when people outside cars were criminalised for wearing the wrong clothes.

  8. Unfortunately filibustering has been used already during 2nd stage & can be used more effectively during 4th stage as deputies can speak for as long as they wish unless Bill is guillotined but culprits not exclusively FF .Mick Wallace was one

  9. “Other cycling campaigns seem to be taking the view that the amendment is nothing to do with them. This is not a supportable or credible position in my view. It will look very very bad if the cycling “community” were happy to push an mpdl and then sat back and did nothing when people outside cars were criminalised for wearing the wrong clothes”

    No evidence that this has hapened/is happening/will happen .

  10. Joan Swift wrote
    “No evidence that this has hapened/is happening/will happen” with regret Joan you should follow what is being said on twitter:

    Sligo Cycling
    ‏”#mpdl amendment does not have a high vis element, please read it. High vis for peds is a separate amendment so will be debated separately”

    Sligo Cycling
    ‏”Are u asking, if there was only 1 amendment fr R Troy & it was re mandatory hi vis for peds wd pple who have been campaigning FOR MPDL instead be campaigning AGAINST mandatory hi vis? Don’t know but we are where we are w huge time /effort/energy gone in to #mpdl”

    I BIKE Dublin
    ‏”Absolutely. #MPDL is our focus, no intention of diverting attention, just clarifying that those amendment proposals are not dependent on each other.”

    I-Bike Dublin
    “We knew this idea was being considered and we did advise strongly against it. The main reason being that it offloads safety responsibility from the ones who have the capability to hurt and kill to the potential victims. Hopefully it will never see daylight as a law.”

    Ciarán Ferrie
    ‏”They are two separate amendments”

    Stayin’ Alive at 1.5
    “These are 2 totally separate amendments. Had zero input into that section and would be completely against making this mandatory. As @IBIKEDublin said, we opposed this (and mandatory helmets) at meeting with RT late last year. This is a blog I wrote”

    With regret to someone looking in from the outside these are unsupportable positions to the point of being laughable. The MPDL and Hi-viz clothing amendments are absolutely and undeniably linked. They are linked because they are both coming from Robert Troy. Since contributors like Sligo Cycles and I-Bike Dublin are in an active lobbying relationship with Robert Troy they are also undeniably linked to his other proposals. Trying to act as if his other proposals are nothing to do with you is disingenuous. The only way this can be a credible position is if Sligo Cycles and I-Bike Dublin are actively and publicly lobbying against Robert Troy’s high-visibility clothing proposals both directly to him and to other members of the joint committee on transport. Active contributors protesting that they “advised against it” or “wrote a blog” will not wash. How many members of the joint committee have seen the blog? Is this noted in any of the political position trackers? Actively supporting only one of Robert Troys measures and at the same time trying to make out that the other is nothing to do with you is not a viable or ethical position in my view.

    If someone in this lobby effort wants to make out that its not their problem because its aimed at pedestrians then that is also disingenuous. This has been dumped on pedestrian groups with effectively one working days notice. Civil society groups made up of volunteers do not have the capacity to react with that kind of lead time. The cycling lobby groups are actively engaged right now with all the political actors identified and their positions being tracked. Therefore the moral obligation rests with the cycling groups to intervene now while there is a chance. If this passes the guilt and the blame will be all over the cycling groups involved. As others have pointed out to you this amendment also carries the risk that it could be modified to include cyclists and other types of unusual clothing.

  11. Here is another example from Sligo cycles on twitter this evening

    “Sligo Cycling
    Replying to @nigreenways
    Now, now, that’s democracy for u! Not Irl tho’, so far one R Troy, let’s see how he gets on. Even RSA the high priests of high-vis not on board w mandatory”

    Lets see how he gets on? The outcome of Mr. Troys efforts will have had no direct input from Sligo Cycles it would appear.

  12. Unfortunately I have learned that the amendment was ruled out of order by the Government only today. I understand the reason cited for this decision is that of questionable relevancy to the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017.”
    Bobby Alyward via @jkeyes

    but hey some were happy to ignore the question about the orginal intent of the bill

  13. Here is more of it from Twitter yesterday

    Citizen Wolf
    ‏”Ok, but that doesn’t really answer my question. What the heck is up with this bill that proposes HiViz as mandatory for pedestrians?! That’s appalling! How did it get entangled in an MPDL? What the hell…..?”

    I BIKE Dublin
    ‏”They are not entangled.”

    I-Bike Dublin are up to their necks in the lobbying effort with Robert Troy. Both amendments are clearly entangled via Robert Troy. The correct response from I-Bike Dublin was “We have urgently asked Robert Troy to drop this amendment and we are directly contacting the committees to ask them to reject this amendment”. But that was not the response they gave was it?

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