National Bike Week gets underway this weekend, and drivers are being urged to slow down and keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists on both rural and urban roads.

Motorists should also check for passing cyclists before opening a door to exit a vehicle.

Cyclists, for their part, are being reminded to follow the rules of the road .

National Bike Week runs from 22nd to 30th June and is a celebrations of all the positive elements of cycling, with hundreds of events and activities taking place across the country and across Co Mayo.

The Transport Minister Shane Ross,  the Road Safety Authority, Gardai and the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network  have come together to call on drivers to slow down and keep a safe distance when overtaking cyclists - on both urban and rural roads.

Drivers are urged to treat cyclists with respect, and share the road safely.

This means giving cyclists enough space when overtaking them - that's 1 metre in speed zones up to 5o km/h and 1.5 metres in zones over 50 km/h - as cyclists can be thrown off course by sudden gusts of wind, or when having to avoid potholes or uneven road surfaces.

Drivers should also check their mirrors regularly for cyclists, and both drivers and passengers - before getting out of a vehicle - should check for passing cyclists before opening the door.

Gardai are reminding cyclists also to follow the rules of the road at all times-  especially when it comes to traffic lights, footpaths and one-way streets.

They should also ensure their bikes are roadworthy, with brakes, tyres and chain all in good working order, and with lights and reflectors.

Cyclists are also urged to wear reflective clothing and a helmet when cycling.

Locally, the Mayo Road Safety Office this week distributed some number plates to youg cyclists for their bikes.

The brightly-coloured number plates contain a number and safety message, and hang under the bicycle saddle in a bid to increase the chances of other road users seeing he cyclist.

 

 

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