Video footage shows a coach passing within inches of bicycle but Gardai see no issue

Despite having video footage showing a coach passing within inches of a bicycle on Dublin’s quays last year, the investing Garda wrote that “I am unable to determine if an offence has been committed”.

Under Irish law, it is illegal for motorists to overtake or attempt to overtake bicycles “if to do so would endanger or cause inconvenience to a pedal cyclist”. The offence carries 3 points and the fixed charge fine is €120, but many who report incidents say that Gardai are relucent enforce the law, with some not being fully aware of the law and others overruled by senior officers.

READ MORE: Explainer: What is the law on overtaking cyclists in Ireland?

A reader who posted the letter from the Garda and video of the incident said that he has experienced a recurring issue where Garda officers appear to be understanding of the dangers but that more senior officers instruct no action to be taken despite video evidence of a close pass.

This is in line with the findings of the IrishCycle.com survey on the Gardai response to members of the public reporting motorists who have close passed them.

Speaking to IrishCycle.com, Dan Dunne said: “When speaking to Gardaí in a station, they appear to be quite understanding of the danger cyclists face, however, when decisions get moved up to a Sergeant there doesn’t seem to be any action taken.”

“At most, there is a phone call or house call made, so the driver is ‘made aware of other road users’. The only solution to this is an online portal, with Gardaí properly trained on reading the submitted footage, so that there are real-world consequences for dangerous drivers,” said Dunne .

In a letter to Dunne, the investigating Garda said: “I am investigating the traffic matter that was reported on 09/06/2021. After requesting and viewing the GoPro footage, I am unable to determine if an offence has been committed. I have contacted the bus company and they have cautioned their drivers to drive with caution, especially in relation to cyclists. I will be recommend this incident to be closed. Any questions please contact me…”

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Originally tweeted by Dan (@danmandunne) on June 14, 2022.

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2 comments

  1. I give up with AGS! This example is yet another in a long line that convinces me that members and officers are clueless about cycling safety.

    Reply
  2. I think the legislation is weak here. How do you prove endangering or causing inconvenience? Those conditions only become evident of there is some later impact, like having to stop and gather yourself, and be witnessed. The adrenaline from a close encounter keeps you going; the impact is usually delayed.

    This is why it’s better to have a specific close pass distance. If that law was in place, there would be a basis for a charge against the driver in this case.

    I have some sympathy for the Guards, they have to do their best with the tools available.

    Reply

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