A motorist who dangerously overtakes a cyclist will face a fine of €120 and three penalty points under a new law coming into force tonight.
New secondary legislation to protect cyclists was announced by Transport Minister Shane Ross today and will come into effect at midnight.
Mr Ross said: “The law that we are commencing at midnight will target and punish drivers who are guilty of such deadly, dangerous behavior. Equally important is the impact I hope it will have on driver behavior, providing a heightened awareness of the importance of sharing road space in a respectful and safe manner.
“Too many cyclists have frankly terrifying tales to tell of intimidatingly close passes and near misses. And we are all sadly aware of the worrying numbers of cyclists being killed and injured on our roads, despite a downward trend in road fatalities more generally.”
The minister said that his Department, the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and the Office of the Attorney General have worked closely together to develop a robust, legal mechanism to target drivers who put cyclists at risk in this manner.
The Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 builds on the existing legislation with regard to dangerous overtaking. These regulations divide the offence of dangerous overtaking to make it a separate offence to dangerously overtake a pedal cyclist. This separate offence will carry an increased fixed charge of €120 and penalty points and will particularly target those drivers who put cyclists at risk.
New signage will warn motorists to provide for adequate overtaking space for cyclists. The signage includes providing for a one metre distance overtaking space (in locations with speed limits less than 50km/h) and 1.5 metre distance (where speed limit exceeds 50 km/h).