THE Clonakilty-based West Cork Triathlon Club is promoting a road safety campaign, in response to the increase in cycling deaths this year.
The number of cyclists killed this year has already well surpassed half of last year’s total of 10 deaths, just five months into 2017.
Seven cyclists have died so far this year, figures described by the West Cork club as ‘extremely alarming’ which has prompted them to initiate a road safety campaign.
Their ‘Staying Alive at 1.5’ campaign aims to ensure drivers leave a distance of 1.5m when overtaking a cyclist on rural roads and 1m
in urban areas. ‘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,’ said club chairperson Fiona O’Donnell.
‘Our aim with this campaign is to raise the awareness of road safety for both motorists and cyclists, so everyone can respect other road users,’ she added.
‘Cyclists are very vulnerable on the road and they must firstly take personal responsibility by wearing hi-vis clothing and make sure they have working front and rear lights on their bikes.’
Speed is, of course, the main factor in most traffic accidents and the club also aims to highlight this element.
Kevin Sexton from the Clonakilty Blackpudding Cycling club went on to explain the human side to these frightening statistics.
‘Most of us are parents or we are someone’s son or daughter or we are someone’s brother or sister, and we all want to get home safely after our cycle, so we are urging all to please take care and for motorists to slow down and obey the rules of the road.’