— 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.”