TD says “large number of cyclists” with headphones “putting themselves and fellow road users at risk”

Transport minister Paschal Donohoe has confirmed that there is no offence banning the use of headphones while cycling — he was responding to former Labour minister Ruairi Quinn who raised the issue in a written parliamentary question.

Ruairi Quinn, a former minister and sitting TD for Dublin South East, said in his parliamentary question: “To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is aware of the large number of cyclists who use headphones while in transit, putting themselves and fellow road users at risk; if this practice is covered under the new fixed charge notices system; and if he will make a statement on the matter.”

Minister Paschal Donohoe, who is a Fine Gael TD for Dublin Central, said: “The use of headphones by cyclists is not a specific offence under road traffic legislation. However, the minister added that if the person wearing the headphones was putting other road users at risk, this could be covered by the offence of “pedal cycle without reasonable consideration”.

He said: “I have however made the offence of driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration a fixed charge offence. All road users have a responsibility to behave in a way which is conductive to their safety and that of other road users. A cyclist that puts themselves or other road users at risk, by the use of headphones for example, could be considered to be driving without reasonable consideration. The enforcement of this fixed charge offence would be a matter for An Garda Siochána.”

 

9 Comments

  1. In my opinion it’s a very dangerous practice for the cyclist itself, you are just not using one of the most important senses you need to drive safely. One can get vital information from the environment and traffic around by just hearing.

  2. I don’t even know where to begin with this. Why are cyclists being singled out for using headphones? Will motorists be banned from listening to loud music too? Or pedestrians who block cycle paths and can’t hear the bell because they’re using headphones? What about deaf cyclists? Please someone enlighten me.

  3. Personally i don’t wear them, but is it a danger in R.Quinns opinion or did he make his comment on based on actual research?

  4. yes I agree with cycommuter what about anyone or everyone else why only cyclists ummmm Drivers who can’t drive and can’t handle the traffic of all variations ummmm interesting, ban one ban them all make it fair i say, make it illegal to have any comms devices in anything moving. SIMPLE & FAIR

  5. If you want to cycle and listen to music safely then try out Koss KSC75, they sit on top of your ear, so you can simultaneously hear the music and also clearly hear road noise. Have been using them for years and they work really well. They’re very cheap too

  6. Maybe we shouldn’t cycle when it’s windy as well? I couldn’t hear much other than the howl of the wind on the way into work this morning

  7. You can use headphones and hear the road at the same. It depends on what you are listening to and at what volume with what style of headphones. Listening to talk radio on over ear headphones is in my opinion nowhere more dangerous than listening to the radio in the car.

    If the practice is both widespread and dangerous then there must be accidents occurring as a result. Where are the statistics?

  8. Moran posing as minister declares deaf people who cycle are a risk to them selves and others. A ministerial salary and pension,and indeed good manners should require one to engage their brain before committing thoughts to paper and then publishing.

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