South Meath Driving School

Making Irish Roads Safer

We use a 1.4 litre Toyota Yaris.

    Dual control means the tutor has a clutch and brake pedal on the passenger side for demonstration or emergency purposes.
    This car is very easy to drive and allows good vision in all directions.
    Diesel engine and manual gears.
    Seats are adjustable to suit small or tall people. Wing mirrors electronically adjustable
    Perfect for learning to drive.

Archive for July, 2015

Posted by Louis on July 31, 2015

Cyclists to Pay the Penalty

When Minister Pascal O’Donoghue introduced legislation recently that finally catches up with wayward cyclists, I think he falls short in one area – that of compulsory insurance. A cyclist has many and varied legal responsibilities once the biker enters a public road. But the rider has no tuition, no health and safety training, no licence of any sort, no ‘nct’ and, of course, no insurance. Yet, from the time children have graduated from the nappy stage, they’re on little scooters, trikes and anything that gets them mobile whether on footpaths or accompanying daddy to the shop.
Before taking a bicycle out in public, it must be road-worthy, be fitted with brakes, a rear reflector and a bell during the daytime and, of course, a front and rear light at night. No more than driving a car, a cyclist must be ‘fit’ to ride the bike.
Better cycling should begin in low infants with a proper course delivered by a professional tutor. That should infuse a good attitude in the child and it stays the pace for life.
Recently, I met a cyclist pedalling out of Loman St., contra flow-style, into Mill St. and didn’t even bother to yield. Such pedaller should realise that last year 13 cyclists died on our roads. She wasn’t near the infant age, for she was 40 plus. There’s no need for fresh legislation to teach that lady a lesson. It’s there since the Road Traffic Acts of 1961, dangerous driving of a pedal cycle!
With cycling numbers increasing by thousands year on year, a new attitude is called for. Whether Pascal Donoghue has the answer remains with the jury. Some 36 offences have entered the books, seven of which are fixed charge notices with a price tag of 40 euro a shot, on the spot fine.
In some of his hurling commentaries, Micheal O Muirecheartaigh expressed great surprise at a Rabbitte chasing a Fox (Tipp v Galway) and I am prepared to get excited should I see dust rising at the sight of Gardai chasing a hapless cyclist whose least concern would be his braking power. The cyclist hasn’t to carry any identification and in urban areas these new laws could be harder to enforce than collecting water charges. Will the Garda be on a bike or in a patrolcar? The likes of Brendan Grace’s ‘Bottler’ would have a ball around Gardiner Street creating a chase and winning.
The new fixed notices are:
Riding without reasonable consideration, No proper lighting, Riding in a pedestrian street, Breaking traffic lights, Not stopping for a school warden and, Not stopping behind a Stop Line.

Cycle lanes are being laid or created by most urban Councils over the last few years. Trim has its fair share and the Navan Road area is a treat to even look at. Navan town has some that just run out of space before a chance of second breath, for instance the one opposite Pairc Tailteann isn’t much longer than a tandem but it creates an opportunity for cyclists to line up in front of motorists at traffic lights.
So why the necessity for new legislation? Well, cyclists have not been keeping any regulations, pushing forward at red lights and flitting through at half a chance. They ride on footpaths, overtake dangerously on the left, the odd one scrapes a pedal along the side of cars and just keep going despite such reckless damage. Many think there is no onus on them to yield at a pedestrian crossing, oft times weaving through children and older folk alike. The RSA advertisement showing correct positioning for a right turn is noteworthy, despite the wry smile of the lady rider for the camera.
Any cyclist can cause a lot of damage to a car whether by colliding with it or, as said, scraping the paintwork with a pedal. Such damage could amount to many hundred Euro, even a thousand. So why not have insurance? I believe that at least third party insurance should be compulsory; Pascal, you are not finished!
The Dutch are tops for pedalling, with almost as many bikes as people – well c.16.5 million. Nordic countries have a very high proportion too while China has 500m bikers. Ireland is catching on to the health aspects of the two wheeler as well as making it a work vehicle: between ’06 and ’11 biker numbers increased by about 10%. Hopefully sales can outpace automobiles as there are actually twice as many cyclists in the world than car drivers!