A new bill is set to be introduced which would see Irish motorists face an €80 fine and three penalty points on their licence if they are found to have driven too close to cyclists, according to a report in today’s Irish Independent.

The Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017, is being published today by Fine Gael TDs Ciarán Cannon and Regina Doherty, the Government chief whip.

The planned law would see an initial fine of €80 and three penalty points which would rise to €1,500 and five penalty points if the case goes to court and results in a conviction.

The passing distance would be set at 1.5 metres on roads with speed limits above 50 kilometres per hour and a passing distance of 1 metre on roads with lower speed limits.

According to the report, Cannon and Doherty are seeking the support of Transport Minister Shane Ross and the transport spokespersons of other political parties for the law which they want to see passed before the Dáil’s summer recess.

The proposed law comes after some tireless work by Phil Skelton and the Stayin’ Alive at 1.5 campaign. The campaign has been pursuing the adoption of a law that requires motorists to give cyclists 1.5 metres clearance when passing from the rear.

The campaign has seen support from the likes of Cycling Ireland President Ciaran McKenna, Matt Brammeier, Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly. The group have also produced a number of videos promoting cycling safety including the video below.


  1. To be honest with the width of that country road these bike riders should in fact be riding in single file there again the bike rules the highway don’t it just. BUGGERNUTS

  2. I’m sceptical about the effectiveness of this measure given that it will be virtually impossible to determine in retrospect whether or not a car passed 1.6m, or 1.4m, by a group of cyclists. If the cyclists report the car to the gardaí how can they tell if the car was in fact too close or not? The only way to even begin to estimate the validity of a claim is the use of video evidence. Even in this case, how will borderline (1.6m) passes be separated from newly illegal 1.4m passes on shaky head cam footage or cctv footage with an obstructed view or an inconclusive angle? CCTV in some urban areas would be valuable, however this doesnt help cyclists on the vast majority of our roads where no cameras are in place. I hope this has at least some small impact on driver awareness, but unless the cyclist is hit then drivers can pass as close as they want on most roads and how are we to prove they were too close? I do also have some sympathy with Pete’s view that far too many cycling groups, in my experience, do not keep to the 2-abrest limit and even, in some cases when they do, those two riders take the entire lane. Even overtaking in the oncoming lane won’t allow 1.5m in this case. This is not a black and white issue and I wouldn’t like to see the legislation place all impetous, or blame, on the driver.

    • A Go Pro camera is a good investment for any serious cyclist. Mounted on the bicycle seat post it will provide super clear wide angle footage for all to see. As sure as night follows day people who break the law will be caught and that is a very good thing for cyclists.

    • if the car comes very obviously close enough to the cyclist to put the below 1.5m factor beyond reasonable doubt then this is certainly a viable option. However I think it’s very easy to imagine scenarios where the distance between the two objects is the subject of fierce conjecture. I do though find it disheartening to think the cyclists need to buy expensive video recording equipment in order to help ensure reckless drivers are prosecuted. Every road user has to realise the responsibility of care and consideration to other road users which is required for safe travel for all.

  3. I do agree with the distance rule but when are the garda going to stop cyclists running red lights weaving bewteen tragic make them have proper lights and clothing to be seen in the dark and mark them used cycle lanes that provided for there safety


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