The number of cyclists killed this year has already well surpassed half of last year’s total of 10 deaths, just six months into 2017. These figures are extremely alarming, which prompted Clonakilty-based West Cork Triathlon Club to initiate a road safety campaign to highlight these statistics and to raise awareness of the national ‘Staying Alive at 1.5’ campaign.
With the recent increase in the popularity of road cycling as a healthy hobby, or as a competitive sport, there are now large number of cyclists on our beautiful scenic West Cork roads. Speed, of course, is the main factor in most traffic accidents and when a cyclist is involved in one of these incidents the results are obviously catastrophic.
“Our aim with this campaign is to raise the awareness of road safety for both motorists and cyclists, and that everyone should respect all other road users”, stated Fiona O’Donnell, Chairperson of West Cork Tri. “Cyclists are very vulnerable on the road and he/she must firstly take person responsibility to be visible by wearing hi-visible clothing and have working front and rear lights on their bikes.”
The aim of the ‘Staying alive at 1.5’ is to educate motorists of the dangers of passing out cyclists on the road and to make sure they leave a distance of 1.5 metres when overtaking a cyclist on rural roads and one metre in urban areas.
Every town in West Cork has a cycling club or group with two active groups based in Clonakilty.
Kevin Sexton from the Clonakilty Blackpudding Cycling Club explains the human loss of these frightening statistics, “most of us are parents, or we are someone’s son or daughter, someone’s brother or sister, and all we want to get home safely after our cycle. We are urging all to please take care and for motorists to slow down and obey the rules of the road.”