17. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures being taken by An Garda Síochána to ensure welfare of cyclists on the road. [49635/18]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): As the Deputy will be aware, roads policing is one of the key policing priorities contained in Garda annual policing plans.
One of the key goals in An Garda Síochána's Policing Plan for the current year was to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads arising from collisions, including those involving cyclists and pedestrians. I am informed that, to this end, the following measures have been prioritised by An Garda Síochána:
- Targeted multi-agency road safety operations to enforce road traffic legislation;
- Targeted enforcement, based on intelligence and analysis, to reduce serious injuries and fatalities;
- Education and prevention programmes to challenge dangerous road user behaviour; and
- Working with partner agencies and stakeholders to:
- Enhance cyclist, motorcyclist and pedestrian safety;
- Ensure a balanced approach between enforcement and education of young drivers.
I am further informed that the Roads Policing Operations Plan for 2018 was developed with a particular road safety focus on the vulnerable road-user categories of:
- Pedal cyclists;
- Motor cyclists;
- Learner permit holders.
According to the Garda authorities, vulnerable road-users continue to be the most 'at-risk' group on Irish roads. Garda statistics indicate that 9 of the provisional figure of 134 road traffic fatalities that have occurred in the year to 28 November 2018 have been cyclists.
An Garda Síochána is committed to educating all road-users in their attitudes and behaviour and, when necessary, detecting and intercepting dangerous drivers, cyclists and those who refuse to comply with road traffic laws. I am informed that this includes the enforcement of cycle lane access for cyclists during designated hour which is an ongoing challenge.
Of course, road safety is a shared responsibility for all road users and not just the Gardaí, the Road Safety Authority and other State bodies. We must all behave responsibly and considerately on the roads.
The Deputy will appreciate that road traffic enforcement is an operational matter for An Garda Síochána and I have requested an up to date Garda report in relation to any other specific information, as sought by the Deputy, concerning the welfare of cyclists on public roads. I will make contact again with the Deputy on receipt of this report. Question No. 18 answered orally.