Update from Phil Skelton on the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign: Further to the launch of the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 cycling campaign in March, I am very pleased to announce the the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 cycling jersey.
This is the first effective road safety jersey of its kind in Ireland, that not only makes cyclists more visible but leaves other road users in no doubt as to their responsibility to cyclists where it really matters; On Irish roads, worn by Irish cyclists. As the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 is a non profit organisation, these jerseys are being sold at cost price as charged by top quality Irish cycling clothing firm, Spin 11. At this stage I really don’t want any advertising on the jersey as the message is much too important to have deviated away by other messages. I initially plan on an order of 50 of these jerseys with the assistance of Loftus Hall experience, but that may change depending on demand. If you would like to get your hands on one of these jerseys, you can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your size and requirements. I will then invoice you a Paypal docket for a non refundable €20.00 deposit as per Spin 11’s policy. The remainder is then payable before jersey is either picked up or delivered. These jerseys will be Spin 11’s top of the range ‘performance speed’- soft fabric, higher breathability,uv protection, flowing body movement and flat seems that most club riders use. The full cost of this jersey is €42.00 which in my view is a total bargain for a jersey of this quality. Overseas experience of wearing similar jerseys has been very positive, with users reporting that motorists were giving them more room, more often. If you require further information or would like to get involved, please visitwww.facebook.com/stayinaliveat1.5 and private message me.
Since Stayin’ Alive at 1.5’s launch, some members have received a reply from the facebook page’s letter to Minister Leo Varadkar in relation to the request to have a safe overtaking space of 1.5 metres written into our rules of the road. Currently the reference to this issue is on page 43 of the Irish rules of the road and the advise is that you ‘should’ give extra space when overtaking a cyclist. The aim of this campaign is to have this distance clearly defined as 1.5 metres and to have the word ‘should’ replaced with the word ‘must’, thereby giving a clear unambiguous definition to this. Minister Varadkar has taken the stance that this would be unenforceable and is not proposing any changes to the law at this stage. They are though proposing an awareness programme. In general, members of the cycling community have difficulties with this; stand alone education programmes in relation to road safety matters don’t seem to take full effect until they are backed up by law enforcement. For example, we all remember the shocking drink-driving ad campaigns that hit our screens and while they certainly had an impact, it was not until random breath testing was introduced that finally led to the change in drivers attitudes with the Gardai given the power to fine, charge and issue penalty points to those driving under the influence. The point is that Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 does not expect our Gardai, armed with measuring tape, to follow motorists who overtake cyclists too closely but should a Garda notice such a dangerously close manoeuvre involving less than 1.5 metres, then there would be a clear law defining this offence. This could be enforced in much the same way that our current tailgating laws are, where the ‘2 second rule’ applies; This typically isn’t enforced unless there is a Garda present or when there happens to be a crash, it becomes clear when a motorist hasn’t allowed adequate space between vehicles. This particular offence carries an €80 fine and two licence penalty points. For those therefore who pass in an unsafe or malicious manner, this 1.5 metre law should provide a generic charge that should hold up in court especially if contact is made with the cyclist.
Big thank you to all who helped get it this far
Well done Phil – some of us give out & complain, some of us get off our ass and do something!!