Around 400 fines were issued to people committing road traffic offences while cycling bicycles in the last four and a half months, transport minister Paschal Donohoe told RTE Radio One this morning.
On-the-spot fines or “Fixed Charge Notices” for a number of cycling road traffic offences were introduced on July 31 last. Before that date Gardai officers had to issue court summons to suspected offenders, and suspects and the officers would then have to appear before a district court judge. There was no option of paying a fine without going to court.
It was previously reported that 244 fines were issued in the first two months of the new system. If the minister’s figures are correct, around 155 fines were issued in the two and a half months since then.
The minister was speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke show on Radio One, which was covering general road safety issues relating to the release of a “provisional end of year review of road fatalities” by the Department of Transport.
Presenter Sean O’Rourke asked: “What about cyclists, Paschal Donohoe, again there’s a sense that a lot of them do exactly what they want — they’ll ride on footpaths; some of them are very reasonable and will wear their high-vis and all the rest of it, but many more will go around without any high-vis; they don’t use lights the way they maybe should — is there any enforcement there?”
Minister Donohoe responded: “Yes. The overwhelming majority of cyclists cycle in a responsible manner.”
The minister did not respond directly to the question of high-vis wearing, but here is no legal requirement to wear high-vis in Ireland or any other European country, and the countries with the safest cycling records have very low use of high-vis.
He added: “But if you look at the road safety statistics in relation to cyclists now as we speak we have had nine people who were on a bike and lost their lives on our roads [this year], which is a decline two [deaths] vs a year ago. But nine is still far too many.”
“In relation to enforcement, which you just questioned me about Sean, I made a change early on in the year that seven particular offences that Gardai will then have the ability to issue a fine for people if they issue a fine for people if they commit an offence. One of the key ones is not using lights on a bicycle, not having them on when things are dark in the evening or early in the morning,” said minister Donohoe.
He concluded: “Since that change was implemented I believe that we’ve had around 400 of those fines issued [to people cycling], the majority of them focusing on the kind of things which will make cycling safer.”
- Cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration
- No front lamp or rear lamp lit during lighting-up hours on a pedal cycle
- Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area;
- Cyclist proceeding past traffic lights when the red lamp is illuminated
- Cyclist proceeding past cycle traffic lights when red lamp is lit; (bicycle only traffic light)
- Cyclist failing to stop for a School Warden sign
- Cyclist proceeding beyond a stop line, barrier or half barrier at a railway level crossing, swing bridge or lifting bridge, when the red lamps are flashing.
For other offences Gardai can still choose to bring people to court.
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