TD wants Gardai escorting bicycle users to ATMs for fine payment

— Minister says there’s Constitutional issues with the suggestion 

A Dublin-based Fine Gael TD has asked the minister of transport if he will introduce new powers to allow Garda officers to collect fines for cycling offences on-the-spot. The TD suggested that if offenders don’t have money on them, that Gardai escort them to ATMs to take the money out of their bank account.

Fines for traffic offences while cycling — introduced early this year — are known as on-the-spot fines, but currently the fines are issued in the post and cannot be paid on-the-spot. If officers suspect that the alleged offender is not being truthful, the alleged offender’s bicycle can be confiscated.

In a written parliamentary question, Eoghan Murphy, a Fine Gael for Dublin South East, asked: “To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will introduce new powers to allow An Garda Síochána to fine cyclists in breach of the law on the spot, and to collect fines on the spot, as happens in other European countries, where the police have the power to escort offenders to the nearest automated teller machines if the offenders do not have the funds on them.”

In a response dated Tuesday, 17 November 2015, transport minister Paschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael), replied: “​I do not intend to introduce new powers to allow Gardaí to collect cycling fines on the spot. Under our Constitution, all citizens are entitled to their day in court when accused of committing a crime. A cyclist intercepted while committing a fixed charge offence, has the option of paying the fixed charge amount within the prescribed timeframes or having their case heard in a court of law. If a fixed charge notice is not paid within 56 days, a summons to appear in court will issue.”

8 Comments

  1. Yet again a member of FG exercises their prejudice against people who use bicycles while wasting Ministers time and suggesting further waste of Garda time. Maybe its following the example of their nondescript ex Taoiseach John Bruton who in these times of scarce resources demands one third of the local garda force to guard his home while local elderly people live in fear in their homes. I will be contacting local FG TDs to express my disgust and suggest everyone who reads these pages do the same. It appears that one or two people complaining about cyclists can get a ministerial question so what have we got lose except to ride in safety on our roads.

  2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/816949.stm

    Unworkable, for much of the reasons outlined there (minus, on the balance of probability, the risk of violence).

    Cars completely blocking footpaths is my pet peeve. Can I waste the Minister for Transport’s time seeking some sort of ritualised humiliation for pavement parkers?

  3. Weird intervention by Eoghan Murphy. Yet he has been a cycling advocate in the past (e.g. supporting retention of the DCC Cycling Officer: http://www.stickybottle.com/latest-news/irelands-only-cycling-officer-is-saved-after-online-campaign-forces-uturn/

    Has he provided any context or explanation?

  4. Why do people lose all sense of proportionality when dealing with the “scourge” of “rogue cyclists”.

    It’s bad enough that 40 euro is considered an appropriate fine for a 60kg bike/rider breaking a light at 15km/h when a 2 tonne car or 20 tonne bus travelling at 60km/h + through a light attracts 80 euro (if enforced). It’s worse still that catching and fining cyclists endangering no-one but themselves is considered a worthwhile use of Garda resources.

    From my daily experience of commuting in Dublin, the following real hazardous behaviours of motorists are rarely/never enforced. Shouldn’t we start there?

    – Wholesale and flagrant red light breaking by cars and buses
    – Parking on and blocking footpaths, cycle lanes and clearways
    – breaking the 30km/h or 50km/h limit in the city
    – Close passing
    – Poor or no use of indicators

    But yet the airwaves, the Dail and the media have spent the last few months gleefully discussing and finding ways to punish cyclists and see them get their comeuppance… The only explanation I can come up with is good old Irish begrudgery at what are seen as “smug” cyclists getting through Dublins congested traffic quickly, staying healthier, and avoiding petrol, tax and insurance costs.

  5. I personally do not carry any cash card when I am cycling….and most likely would not have that amount of cash on my person either during a cycle….maybe I could borrow it off one of the many illegally parked car drivers along the the cycle path/lanes….

  6. Clark in Vancouver December 1, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    How about they design their city so that one is able to get somewhere by bike and not be forced to break any laws?

  7. That new group, the Social Democrats; anyone got any ideas on their stance on cycling infrastructure and suchlike?

  8. Eoghan Murphy is one of my TDs (FG) and he is normally a sensible chap! I don’t know the context for this ridiculous proposition. I have written to him seeking an explanation. He is following closely in the tracks of Minister of State Humphreys (Lab – also Dublin SE) who also has it in for cyclists. I smell posturing for an election.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: