Obey The Rules Of The Road
Cycling is a popular form of transportation in Ireland and there has been a huge increase in the amount of cyclists seen on Irish roads in the last few years due to the economic contraction and ever rising fuel prices.
Using a bicycle as the primary method to get to and from work, school or college can offer great reductions on running costs; however the potential cost of danger to your life greatly increases. Here we have a look at the essential do's and don'ts for cyclists and how to stay safe on the road.
Cycling is a cheap, healthy and time saving form of commuting but it is just as important for cyclists to obey the rules of the road. These rules are put in place to help keep all road users safe.
Thanks to generous incentive schemes and tax savings by the Irish government, cycling has seen a huge surge in popularity after being desperately unpopular for years.
- Stop at red lights and stop signs.
- Obey traffic signs and signals.
- Use clear and definite signals to indicate your intentions to maneuver.
- Make sure your tyres are fully inflated and in good condition. It's just as dangerous riding a bicycle with bald tyres as it is driving a car with them!
- Always wear high visibility clothing such as a tabard or jacket to ensure all other road users and pedestrians can see you.
- Wear a 'CE' EN1078 compliant helmet and make sure it is correctly fitted.
- Obey the rules of the road and respect other road users.
- Always cycle with the flow of traffic.
- Ride in a straight line.
- Pre-empt your next move and watch out for drivers and pedestrians. Try and catch their eye so they can see your intentions and you can see theirs.
- Keep a safe distance from moving traffic in case they brake suddenly.
- Cycle on the footpath, instead, use cycle lanes where provided, or the road.
- Never cycle in the dark without the proper lighting on your bike. A white light on the front and a red light on the back.
- Never hold onto a moving vehicle.
- Never weave in and out of traffic.
- Never break red lights.
The rules of the road are similar for cyclists as for motorists, if these rules are kept in mind, then all road users can go about their journey harmoniously.
Cyclists have to pay extra attention whilst on the roads with much larger and heavier vehicles using the roads, it can be very dangerous! Watch out when you are turning left and right, and stay well back from vehicles turning, slow down and let them go.
Bad weather conditions can equally prove to be hazardous for cyclists so ensure you are well kitted out for bad weather by following the few simple rules:
- Only make necessary journey's. If it is snowing or icey out, avoid having to cycle unless your really have to. Two wheels aren't as stable as four!
- Visibility is greatly reduced in poor weather, so make sure you are wearing high-visibility clothing so other road users and pedestrians can see you.
- Make sure your bike is fully serviced. Your brakes are responsive, tyres pumped up and in good condition.
- Consider eye protection.
Cycling can have its disadvantages, aside from bad weather and getting wet, the security of your bike can be an issue. The increase in cycling and leaving a bike parked on the street can offer greater temptation to oportunistic thieves. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to deter any thieves with a good strong bicycle lock. Make sure the lock is strong and tight fitting to the cross bar or part of the bike that you lock it up through. Many cheap bicycle locks sold offer little or no deterrent to a thief with a hammer and a pair of bolt cutters so it's worth investing in a good lock.
Happy Cycling and Stay Safe!