Cameras on buses could be used to keep Irish bus and cycle lanes clear

Bus-mounted cameras could be used to keep bus and cycle lanes clear, if a proposed amendment Road Traffic Acts goes ahead.

National Transport Authority (NTA) said it views that a law change is needed for the BusConnects programme planned for Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. NTA spokesman Dermot O’Gara said: “We have said that we believe that BusConnects will require camera enforcement of bus lanes. We believe legislation is required and we are pursuing that.”

He said the NTA will take a look at the Fianna Fail Private Members’ bill published this week.

Hello... sorry to interrupt you: IrishCycle.com is reader-funded journalism supported by just over 250 readers like you -- they have subscribed for €5 per month or more. If you can, please join them and subscribe today. If you have already subscribed -- thank you! Now, back to the article...

Internationally camera-enforcement is done using a mix of fixed cameras, and cameras mounted on buses or on special enforcement cars. It is viewed as more sustainable and effective than having police officers ‘on every corner.’

A report by the Washington DC-based Transportation Planning Board found that bus-mounted CCTV cameras are more effective with for every $1 invested yielding $8 in “travel time savings and fleet saving benefits”, compared to $5 in benefits for fixed cameras.

“Unfortunately, the laws related to cycle and bus lanes are frequently violated and present a significant inconvenience to bus drivers, the people who use buses and to cyclists,” Fianna Fail transport spokesman Robert Troy told the Dail on Thursday. “One morning, I spotted at least 15 cars parked illegally in a bus or cycle lane in a relatively short distance between Portobello and College Green.”

He added: “In the case of cycle lanes, the presence of vehicles also presents a significant risk as cyclists must swerve into traffic to avoid parked vehicles. Ireland’s cycling infrastructure is wholly inadequate as it is without it being rendered unusable by the presence of parked cars, skips and multiple other items being put in the way. These are widespread issues. I frequently take Dublin Bus.”

Troy said: “I believe that this could be done through the use of CCTV cameras to reinforce these new road traffic laws and increase detection of these offences. For example, Dublin Bus vehicles could be fitted with CCTV cameras to detect violations of these laws. This is already the case in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and many other jurisdictions.

He said evidence from these jurisdictions shows that enforcement works. He used the example of Gateshead in the UK where he said there was initial surge in the number of fines to motorists, but the level halved as drivers avoided fines.

Troy said: “We are robbing people of one of their most valuable assets, time. This legislation is but a small measure that would help to speed up buses and make them more attractive, and be safer for cyclists. I hope that the Bill will enjoy cross-party support, given its importance to all transport users in Ireland. Our capital city is becoming one of the most congested in Europe. We must do all we can in the short and medium term to get Dublin moving again.”

Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of February, 210 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.3% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers

Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

2 comments

  1. I find buses are encroaching more and more in cycle lanes. They don’t leave them when departing a bus stop. Also width of bus often cannot be accommodated in 2 marked lanes.

    Reply
  2. Camera enforcement should work fine for moving vehicles, but it would be good to see it flanked with the swift removal of cars abandoned in places where they don’t belong.

    BVG in Berlin is going to start training 80 people in April to get on top of the problem of cars parked where they block buses. Half of them will spot offenders and the other half will drive the bus company’s six tow trucks. Legislation is being changed to allow the bus company to tow vehicles without having to go through the city authorities or the police first.

    Source: https://www.bz-berlin.de/berlin/erster-berliner-bezirk-laesst-alle-falschparker-sofort-abschleppen – this mostly about cars parked where they block cycle lanes and only incidentally about buses.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.