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Motorists to face €80 fine and penalty points for driving too close to cyclists

TDs are drafting a new bill that specifies fines and penalty points for motorists who pass within 1.5m gap.

The move comes in response to the death of 20 cyclists on Irish roads in the past two years.

Under the proposed new legislation, drivers found in breach of the new rules will face €80 fines and three penalty points on their licences. Fines of up to €1,500, and five penalty points, would be imposed for cases that progress to the courts and where guilt is proven.

Motorists would be obliged by law to pass cyclists no closer than 1.5 metres on roads with a speed limit of 50km/h or higher. On roads where the speed limit is under 50km/h, the safe passing distance would be set at one metre.

The Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017, was published this week by Fine Gael TDs Ciarán Cannon and Regina Doherty, the Government chief whip.

They are seeking the support of Transport Minister Shane Ross and the transport spokespersons of other political parties for the law, and they hope to see it passed before the Dáil’s summer recess.

The introduction of the safe passing distance comes after a huge increase in cycling for over a decade. Figures recently published by Dublin City Council and NTA, showed that the number of commuters cycling into Dublin city during the morning peak has reached its highest level since records began, nearly 20 years ago.

The plans to introduce a safe passing distance in the Republic follow similar moves in Europe, Canada and about half of US states.
Drivers found in breach of the new rules would face an €80 fine and have three penalty points added to their licence.


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