Parking on footpaths, cycle lanes or bus lanes should attract 3 penalty points

Parking in cycle lanes, on footpaths or in bus lanes should be considered as ‘parking a vehicle in a dangerous position’ and receive three penalty points as well as a fine, the Joint Committee on Justice has said.

A ‘dangerous parking’ offence already exists under Section 55 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961. But, when illegal parking is enforced, it mostly does not attract penalty points.

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The change to view all parking in cycle lanes, bus lanes or on footpaths as ‘dangerous parking’ is a recommendation in the Joint Committee on Justice’s new Report on an Examination of Enforcement of Road Traffic Offences.

The Committee chairperson James Lawless TD (FF) said: “The Committee recognises that the violation of road traffic legislation causes significant impediments and real danger to other road users, as well as creating accessibility issues and disruptions within communities.”

He added: “The Committee heard from stakeholders that a lack of effective enforcement of road traffic offences also undermines the Government’s current investments into active travel infrastructure and into providing alternatives to private car usage, as individuals will not opt for alternatives like cycling if they do not feel safe doing so, or to use the bus over a private car if the transport times on the bus are significantly slower, due to private cars using the bus lane.”

The Committee also recommended that “clearer guidelines are established in relation to which bodies are responsible for enforcing various road traffic offences” and “an Garda Síochána receives sufficient resourcing and support, to ensure that Gardaí can devote more time to identifying and prosecuting road traffic offences”.

It also said that it supported legislation to help with greater use of CCTV evidence when enforcing offences, an online portal to upload footage of road traffic offences, and the greater use of average speed cameras.

The Committee also recommends “that the internal processes for reporting road traffic offences to Dublin Bus should be reviewed, to ensure that every individual who submits a complaint would receive a response.”

I Bike Dublin, a campaign group which presented to the committee welcomed the report and called on its recommendations to be implemented.

Ciarán Ferrie, a spokesperson for the group, said: “I Bike Dublin are pleased to see that the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice has taken on board many of our recommendations in its report on the Enforcement of Road Traffic Offences.”

He said: In our evidence to the Committee, we had highlighted the dangers associated with what some might perceive to be innocuous offences such as parking in cycle lanes and parking on footpaths and are encouraged to see that the Committee has recommended that these offences be considered as ‘parking a vehicle in a dangerous position’ and should receive a fine and three penalty points.”

“We also note the Committee’s recommendations for increased resourcing of road policing and the use of ANPR technology to enforce road traffic offences such as red light breaking and driving in bus and cycle lanes as well as the call for an online portal for uploading footage of road traffic offences,” he said.

He said that the enforcement measures are essential to meeting the Vision Zero target in the National Road Safety Strategy and will be an important step in encouraging a greater shift to more sustainable modes of transport as required under the Climate Action Plan.

Ferrie added: “We thank the Committee for the opportunity to give evidence and for listening to what we had to say and we call on the government to implement the recommendations without delay to ensure that our roads our safer for all.”

3 comments

  1. Why can’t DSPS issue fines (in Dublin) ?
    rather than just focusing on clamping vehicles in out of the way spots whose parking time has elapsed.
    Currently DSPS seem to just ignore illegal parking on main roads, cycle lanes or on footpaths.
    Gardaí don’t have the resources, but DSPS surely do. If not, time for the traffic warden to make a comeback I think.

    Reply
  2. On the new Fairview cycle lane recently. Path was entirely blocked by a Huge very expensive looking SUV. A very well-off looking driver in situ at the wheel. I explain its a cycle-lane and ask him to move as my only option is – off bike- onto bus lane, which is full with a continuous stream of buses , so its not an option, even though it would be illegal anyway. This driver shouts “I’m not moving.” A kid arrives with a chicken & chips take-away sits inside. Both proceed to start eating the food. I call again for him to move. He says, “I’m having my lunch.” I waited for stream of busses to pass. Now there was just one on its way. I lifted my bike onto bus lane and was then subject to abuse from the driver as I passed his window, and then also, predictably, from the driver of the bus coming up on me from behind – inside the bus lane. I actually think that a stay in a lunatic asylum would be more appropriate for some such drivers at this stage. What are we expected to do in such situations?

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  3. I neglected to emphasise that in order to get onto the cycle lane this driver had to first illegally enter the bus lane which is sectioned-off with a low level concrete curve then illegally enter into the cycle lane, which is also sectioned-off with another low-level concrete curve. I.e. this is not at all like a usual-type street cycle lane, its way off the car lane.

    Reply

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