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Dangerous passing of cyclists law to be enacted soon with higher fines

— Campaigner welcomes proposed law, and notes: “This should no be seen as the panacea of cyclist safety”.

This is reader-funded journalism, but it needs more support -- our target is 20 more subscribers by the end of August... can you help? Subscribe today.

A dangerous passing of cyclists law is to be enacted soon by transport Minister Shane Ross — the new law will have higher fines compared to the existing generic dangerous passing distance law.

The new law is aimed at tackling motorists who dangerously overtake people on bicycles in common situations such as on blind bends or hills or the when another driver coming in the opposite direction.

Unlike previous plans, there will be no distance specified in the law.

Ciarán Cannon, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development and a long-term supporter of a passing distance law, said that he is confident a dangerous passing of cycling law will be enacted soon.

Minister Cannon said: “From my contact with Minister Ross, I’m confident that we will shortly have legal recognition of the unique vulnerability of cyclists on our roads, and appropriate penalties for those motorists who pass too closely.”

He added: “I’m deeply grateful to Phil Skelton who has been relentless in campaigning for safer roads for all of us, and to Neil Fox who despite suffering a great personal tragedy, went on to work with us in making this new law a reality.”

Phil Skelton — who has run Staying Alive at 1.5, the campaign for a minimum passing distance law — said: “I welcome this announcement with cautious optimism. This will be a new model of cyclist specific dangerous overtaking law and it’s important to give this the opportunity to work.”

“Much work has gone in to the background of this if they all come together, I believe it will.”

“This should no be seen as the panacea of cyclist safety but it will act as another tool in the cyclist safety toolkit. It certainly should not be viewed as a substitute to dedicated, connected segregated cycling infrastructure but more of a beach head strategy,” said Skelton.

CORRECTION: This article originally suggested that there would be a higher penalty points, this is now understood not to be the case.

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