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Imogen Cotter is set to front, and be the face of, a new nationwide TV advert campaign to foster cycling-related road safety

Imogen Cotter has teamed up with the Road Safety Authority and the Garda in a bid to make cycling conditions safer on the Republic’s roads. Cotter, who suffered a career-threatening crash in Girona, Spain, in 2021, is fronting the campaign for the upcoming Easter Bank Holiday Weekend.

With roads this on the increase this year, and in recent years, a key feature of the road safety message going into the holiday weekend is to urge drivers to give cyclists more time and space in coming days.

“I was hit head-on in a collision two years ago, and the image of the van coming towards me and thinking I was about to die is something that will never leave me. I am grateful I am still here to use my story to spread awareness,” Cotter said, who will not feature in a nationwide TV advert for the first time.

“But the trajectory of my professional cycling career changed in the moment that the driver decided to drive dangerously to save less than 30 seconds on his journey.

“My message is for drivers to slow down and realise there is a real person cycling on that road, and they are more vulnerable and oftentimes more afraid than drivers realise. If this campaign can make one person slow down, that will be a step in the right direction to making roads safer for everyone.

“Drivers and other road users need to slow down, be more observant, and be aware of the physical and mental long-lasting impact that road traffic collisions can have on the cyclist and their families.”

The RSA will be airing its cycle safety campaign featuring Cotter on TV, video on demand and across social media for the month of April. This is the first time this will air on TV, having aired across digital platforms in 2023.

The RSA said between 2018 and 2022, some 1,327 cyclists were seriously injured on Irish roads. Furthermore, 82 per cent of cyclists were seriously injured in multiple vehicle collisions, most commonly with a car or light goods vehicle.

Other RSA cycling-related findings include:

  • Almost three in five (58 per cent) cyclists seriously injured were aged 26-55 years.
  • Seriously injured cyclists were most likely to be male (79 per cent).
  • Four in five (80 per cent) cyclists were injured between 8am and 8pm.
  • High proportions of serious injuries occurred Monday-Thursday (62 per cent).
  • Four in five serious injuries occurred on urban roads (81 per cent); over half (53 per cent) occurred in Dublin.
  • Three in ten cyclists (29 per cent) were injured at junctions.

Chief Supt Jane Humphries of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said the fatal crashes on the roads, including in recent days, underlined the need for more caution by road users.

“Too many lives have been lost on Irish roads already this year. Bank Holidays are a time for family and friends, sadly this will not be the case for the devastated families of young and old who have died on our roads so far in 2024,” she said.

“An Garda Síochána is and will continue to make every effort to reduce the harm that is happening on our roads, but this is a societal issue for every road user, pedestrian, pedal cyclist, driver; we need to work together to share and make our roads a safer place.

“An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to drivers to never ever drive under the influence of an intoxicant and for every driver to reduce their speed.”

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