September 28, 2023

Attorney General puts brakes on Shane Ross’s new law on overtaking cyclists

A NEW law proposed by Transport Minister Shane Ross that would have set a minimum passing distance for drivers overtaking cyclists has been abandoned after the Government’s top lawyer raised concerns.

The proposal, contained within the Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017, would have made it an offence to pass a cyclist closer than 1m on roads with a speed limit under 50km/h and within 1.5m on roads with a limit of 50km/h or higher.

Minister Ross has admitted it has proved very difficult to draft legislation on a minimum passing distance that was constitutional and that could be enforced, and as a result the Bill would not proceed.

It was reported that the Attorney General’s concerns centred on how the 1m and 1.5m distance could be measured for enforcement purposes.

Minister Ross said he is now looking at drafting “a statutory instrument” that will make dangerous overtaking of a cyclist an offence.

This new law will not specify a minimum passing distance.

Mr Ross told The Irish Times he believed this alternative would have largely the same effect and hoped this law would be in place by April this year.



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