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Irish cycle deaths peak - but is bad driving to blame?

Ten cyclists have died already this year - Ireland scrambles to explain the increase

Ten cyclists died on Irish roads in the first six months of this year, six more than in the same period of 2016, and more than in 2015 as a whole.

According to The Times, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) say that the single biggest cause is the high speed of driving on the island.

Of the ten cyclists killed, one incident involved a bin truck, one a camper van one and a tractor, while six involved cars.

Moyagh Murdock, the RSA chief executive, said they were: “calling for all drivers to demonstrate caution and awareness when sharing the road with cyclists.

“Drivers need to pay greater attention to their speed, as they are becoming increasingly distracted by mobile devices.”

The Transport Department, which has recently reduced investment in sustainable transport, agreed, saying: “While infrastructure is part of the solution, advances can also be made where all road users whether driving, cycling or walking pay close attention and have due regard to other users of the road,”

But Heather Boyle of Cycling Ireland said that infrastructure was the answer to creating safe cycling spaces.

“I can be the best cyclist in the world but if I’m out on the road with a driver who does not know how to share the road with a bike, I’m the one who is at risk,” she said.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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