Cycling campaign highlights lack of safety in the capital

Source: Greennews.ie

November 8th, 2019

Cycling advocacy
campaigners are set to hold their fourth and final protest this evening to
highlight the State’s lack of concern for the safety of Dublin city’s
eco-commuters. 

The week-long protest, organised by advocacy group I Bike Dublin, was
prompted by a fatal crash that killed a cyclist in the city last Friday
morning.

Yesterday evening, the campaigners held a vigil outside of an event that
the Minister for Transport Shane Ross TD was slated to attend to honour the
memory of those who have lost their lives while cycling.

Holding banners inscribed with the words “40 People Dead, their blood is
on your hands” campaigners offered 40 flowers to Mr Ross to symbolise the
number of cyclists who have died in road accidents under Mr Ross and his predecessors
Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe.

Accepting the flowers, Mr Ross promised to ensure better
road safety for eco-commuters and that he would convey the protestors’ message
to his department and the Road Safety Authority (RSA).  

Joan O’Connell of I Bike Dublin said that the protests are “highlighting
the dangerous consequences of failures to enforce road traffic laws” for eco-commuters
in Ireland. 

“As people cycling to work, to supermarkets to friends and family, we regularly encounter aggressive and dangerous behaviour from motorists,” she said. “We are acutely aware of the very real risk of death or serious injury that such behaviours can cause to us.” 

Demands 

I Bike Dublin issued a list of requirements that they say would help to
bolster road safety for eco-commuters, including a call for Dublin City Council
to ramp up its efforts to provide a “physically protected cycling
infrastructure” in the capital.

The group also wants to see “speed cameras” installed to measure
Dublin’s worst streets for speeding motorists and calls on An Garda Síochana to
refrain from making social media comments on cycling.

This follows the publication of a series of what the group believed was
“inappropriate” and insensitive tweets by the Garda Traffic account after the
death of cyclist Neeraj Jain on Friday. 

I Bike Dublin also wants to see “an independent review” from the Garda
Ombudsman of the Gardaí’s “derogatory and insensitive” communications with them
dating back to 2017.

The group has also urged Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan TD to
“ensure that An Garda Síochána have the resources necessary to enforce road
traffic laws properly.”

Eco-commuting activists at I Bike Dublin have urged the city’s avid
cyclists to join their last day of action by assembling outside College Green
at 5:30 pm to cycle to the offices of the Garda Roads Policing Unit at Barnardo’s
Square. 

Mr Ross was also criticised this week after stating that he had no plans
to allow the National Transport Authority (NTA) to fix bus and cycle lanes with
cameras. 

The NTA had previously stated it was seeking a change in legislation
that would greenlight the enforcement of bus and cycle lanes using
cameras. 

“Our public transport system will never be up to par if the NTA is not
given the power to install camera-based enforcement on its buses,” Kevin
Carter, Chairperson of Dublin Commuter Coalition said. 

“This is but a further example that our Minister for Transport is only interested in one type of transport: the private motor vehicle.” 

About the Author

Shamim Malekmian

Shamim is a Senior Reporter at The Green News and a contributing writer to the Irish Examiner, Cork Evening Echo and the Dublin Inquirer.

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