A new law has made it an offence to “dangerously overtake” a cyclist in Ireland.

The new legislation, which came into force this month, will see drivers fined €120 and handed three penalty points if they are caught putting cyclists at risk.

“The law will target and punish drivers who are guilty of such deadly, dangerous behaviour,” said Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

“Equally important is the impact I hope it will have on driver behaviour, providing a heightened awareness of the importance of sharing road space in a respectful and safe manner.

“Too many cyclists have frankly terrifying tales to tell of intimidatingly close passes and near misses. And we are all sadly aware of the worrying numbers of cyclists being killed and injured on our roads, despite a downward trend in road fatalities more generally.”

The introduction of the new law will be highlighted by the rollout of new signage warning motorists to provide for adequate overtaking space for cyclists.