is reader-funded journalism. To keep it going and free-to-view, it takes people like you to act now and subscribe today for €5, €10, or €20 per month.

Trial to allow Irish cyclists turn left at red lights promised in safety strategy

The Government’s new Road Safety Strategy promises to trial allowing cyclists to turn left when facing a red traffic light, and the potential for “presumed liability” for motorists.

The strategy includes a target of reducing deaths on Ireland’s roads by “15% from 144 to 122 or lower” by 2024, by 50% to “72 or lower” by 2030, and zero deaths or serious injuries by 2050.

This morning reported how bicycle helmet usage is a “key safety performance indicator” in the strategy. Another of the actions listed in the strategy outlines how there will be a wider review of road traffic policy and legislation to prioritise the safety of walking and cycling.

On turning left on red for cyclists, the strategy promises that the Department of Transport will: “Conduct a pilot (with supporting infrastructure) to examine the feasibility of introducing a ‘cyclist turning left on red’ provision. Take into account best international practice around other cycling priority measures and make recommendations.”

In 2016, a provision to allow people cycling to turn right (the equivalent of our lefthand turn) was made permanent in Denmark after a two-year trial showed the change did not lead to more collisions. This provision however only applies where signs allow for it. A similar measure has been in place in the Netherlands for much longer.

In France — also only at junctions where special signs are displayed — turning right and straight on at the top of T-junctions at red lights was first allowed in Paris as a trial. The trial showed that the measure was safe.

IMAGE: The signs used in France, which are attached to traffic lights.

This was then expanded to allow people cycling to travel in all directions on red lights, where it is signposted as allowed. It is up to each local city or town council to decide which junctions are suitable for the treatment.

When the law was changed the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the French Government department responsible for climate transition, released an English version of a video explaining how the measure works and how “contrary to preconceived notions” the measure improves safety:

Presumed liability

In another action listed, the Department will “Examine the potential for presumed liability for mechanically propelled vehicles (MPV) drivers in cases of collisions with vulnerable road user’s and make recommendations.”

You're read this much of the article... So, if you value our journalism, please subscribe today for €5, €10, or €20 per month.

It is often mistakenly viewed as relating to criminal liability (ie something that the police and courts get involved in), but actually relates only to civil law around the issue of insurance or who deals with costs relating to injury and damages after a collision.

The idea behind presumed liability, which is sometimes referred to as ‘strict liability’, outlines in civil law that the powerful road user is liable by default in the event of a collision unless it can be clearly proven that the less powerful road user was at fault. In other countries, the rule applies to a person cycling and pedestrian as much as it applies to a motorist.

The focus on presumed liability by international cycling campaigners led Mark Wagenbuur, Dutch Cycling Ambassador and creator of BicycleDutch, to write: “It is a myth that is really only believed outside the Netherlands: ‘Because there is strict liability in the Netherlands, drivers are more cautious around cyclists, and that leads to more cycling’.” is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

Subscription drive update: reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).

If you can help push above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!

Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.

*** 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, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year 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

Cian Ginty


  1. the liability section will be interesting and may indirectly lead to more law obeying by pedestrians cyclists and motorists alike if pedestrians are held accountable for crossing illegally causing incidents cyclists held accountable for hitting pedestrians and vehicles held accountable for hitting pedestrians and cyclists


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.