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”.
Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers