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3,200 Irish cyclists summoned to court in ten years

— Over 350 brought to court for cycling by red lights last year in Dublin alone

Over 3,200 people were summoned to Irish courts for cycling road traffic offences between 2003 and 2013.

The lack of a system of “on-the-spot fines” or fix charge notices for cycling offences means that gardai must bring bicycle users to court. The same gardai must be present when the case comes before the courts.

The new data, which was combined by, is based on new figures released yesterday by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and provisional Garda information announced by the head of Dublin’s Garda Traffic Corps last week.

Chief superintendent Aidan Reid told RTE Radio One: “The fine for cyclists is [up to] €750 and last year we brought over 350 cyclists who breached red lights to court.”

He added: “A high number of those were prosecuted with significant fines, one got a fine over €400 — so there are significant fines. We will be out this months and next month with a strong campaign.”

Figures released by the Central Statistics Office: Total number of recorded incidents where cycling related charges and summons, 2003-2012:


NOTE: All figures are provisional and may be subject to change. NEC = not elsewhere classified. 

Most of the incidents since 2003 related to charges and summons counted as ‘general road and traffic’ offences, such as breaking red lights or cycling on footpaths. ‘Dangerous or negligent acts’ include: dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm, driving/in charge of a vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit, driving/in charge of a vehicle under the influence of drugs, and endangering traffic offences. Under the road traffic acts a cyclist is a “driver” and a bicycle is a vehicle.

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Cian Ginty


  1. I notice from one of your articles last year that the On the Spot Fines were due to come in in the second quarter of 2014 – have you come across any updates anywhere on that? I hope they can fix the places where the lights don’t detect cyclists in the mean time.

  2. I would also be interested to see how many drivers were fined or brought to court in the same time span. Would there be a way to find that out?

    I encounter many traffic lights on my daily commute that turn red while you are in the middle of the road after passing a green light and the other side already has green before I can make it to the opposite side.
    Some examples: King Street North crossing Upper Church Street and Memorial Road crossing Custom House Quay. So while I passed a green light, drivers coming from the other side may think I crossed red (and they do judging by the honking) I have started crossing these on red for me now when there is no traffic as -ironically- it is much safer. The light sequences and length for pedestrians and cyclist should be greatly increased on most crossings. This would already contribute to less red light jumping.
    I traveled to Belgium last week and cycled through Ghent and Bruges and did not jump one red light as there was no need to. Both cities put pedestrians and cyclist first.

  3. I wonder does that superintendent ever travel up the ballyfermot road near the schools. He would make a fortune from all the cars parked in the “cycle lane”.


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