Garda Sergeant doesn’t see issue with truck driver blaring horn, not slowing down before close passing bicycle

IMAGE FROM REAR CAMERA: Still image showing just before the truck driver passes the first person on a bicycle.

— Truck driver shown on video driving closer to footpath as he overtakes despite carriageway widening out.

IMAGE FROM FRONT CAMERA: Still image from the footage showing the truck’s cab coming closer to the footpath as he overtakes the person with the cameras.

An increase in motorists being fined for ‘dangerously overtaking a cyclist’ has been reported since the law was introduced last year, but the Gardai are ignoring some cases, including an example where footage shows a truck driver blares his horn, makes no apparent attempt to slow down or move into another traffic lane before closely overtaking a man on a bicycle.

IrishCycle.com had reported on recent cases where motorists were according to Gardai fined for breaching the dangerous overtaking of a cyclist law which was introduced last year. Video evidence helped secure a €120 fine and 3 penalty points in an example in Cork and another in Dublin. We also reported on a case in Dublin where a motorist was fined thanks to footage last year before the new law was in place.

IMAGE FROM REAR CAMERA: As the truck driver passes at speed, the driver’s rear tires come close to the cycle lane markings while the cyclist is dealing with the footpath jutting out into the road at the end of the cycle lane.

But describing an incident which happened him on November 18 — shortly after the new dangerous overtaking of a cyclist law was put in place — a reader said that given the rise in new people cycling on the road that the refusal to prosecute is “just disgusting”.

The close pass happened on a section of the Swords Road which is a dual carriageway, beside The Coachmans Inn. It happened heading southbound just north of the main Dublin Airport roundabout. The close pass occurred at a pinch-point in the road where a footpath and pedestrian crossing juts out as the narrow cycle lane ends.

Last week, Barry Mulhern said: “I reported it to Traffic Watch on the November 20. I got a letter from them with a pulse number. I then made a statement in person on the 19th of Dec at which time I gave the Gardai copies of footage from my rear facing camera, front facing helmet camera and front facing handlebar mounted Camera. I have been chasing up with the Gardai ever two weeks since February and only this evening managed to catch the investing Garda on the phone.”

IMAGE FROM FRONT CAMERA: The footage shows the cab of the truck very close to the footpath as he overtakes despite the carriageway widening after the crossing point.

“I asked investigating Garda was there not a 6 month time limit between offence occurring and notice of prosecution being served, which he said there was. I then asked if they had identified the driver, he said they did but they didn’t believe an offence had taken place so he wasn’t asked for a statement,” he said.

Mulhern said: “In fairness the investigating Gardai were helpful professional, if busy, but he said it went to his superior, his Sergeant who he named, and the Sergeant was the one who said no offence, and what’s worse the investigating Garda implied he was told not to contact me, all though when I pushed him on it, he wouldn’t confirm and rowed back on it.”

He added: “At a time where there is a clear explosion in new and returning cyclists to pit roads to have a Sergeant see what he saw and refuse to prosecute is just disgusting.”

Mulhern posted the the forward facing and rear camera footage on Twitter.

The front camera:

The rear camera:

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

6 Comments

  1. Maybe there is a conflict of interest in allowing the people who would have to take action to decide if a matter is serious or not. At the very least the truck driver needed to be told his driving was aggressive and dangerous.

  2. Ask the Gardai for his insurance details.

  3. Mike McKillen July 7, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    I am really struggling with this refusal by that garda member to issue a FCPN for this dangerous overtaking manoeuvre and display of driver aggression (aka ‘punishment-pass’) using a big HGV rig to intimidate the rider.
    It adds weight to my general view that An Garda just doesn’t understand how to protect those of us who chose to cycle. There is a windscreen-view of road safety deeply embedded in the organisation and too many of its members.

  4. It is true the truck did not give the required distance when passing the cyclists, but the cyclist as well overtook the other one with the truck too close. They require a long distance to break, he could have got himself killed.

  5. Ok I’m not truk driver I’m cycling everyday to work but the cyclist was right. He look back end sea truk coming and it still decided to overtake another cyclist instead of slowing down. Is there any of you have idea how much this truck weight and how much distance need to stop. Sony one person who was dangerous is cyclists itself

  6. @Thomas — I cycle on a road with a high volume of trucks and they are some of the best drivers. That’s not the kind of driving shown in the videos.

    Even if the cyclist did something wrong it doesn’t excuse the truck driver not slowing down or moving closer to the cyclist at a point where the road gets wider.

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