Garda accused of misleading advice on new cycling fines

Helmets urged in publicity material though use optional under law

The Garda and Road Safety Authority have been accused of publishing confusing and misleading information about the imminent roll out of new on the spot fines for cyclists.

The Dublin Cycling Campaign said new posters urged cyclists to wear helmets and hi-viz clothing and to fix reflector lights to the wheels of their bikes despite none of the measures being included in the new on the spot fines system.

The poster (above) has been published on the Garda’s social media accounts.

It contains an image and bullet points which combined encourage cyclists to “cycle safely and avoid the new Fixed Charge Notices for cycling offences”.

Of the six features in the graphic, four – wearing a helmet, fitting reflectors to front and rear wheels and wearing fluorescent clothing – have no connection whatever to the new fixed charged notice system and are not mandatory.

The other two features depicted in the graphic – fitting front white lights and red rear lights – are mandatory under law.

They are also among the first seven offences to be rolled out under the fixed charge notice system from July 31st. Failure to use lights during hours of darkness will result in a €40 fine.

Colm Ryder of the Dublin Cycling Campaign has raised his concern in a letter to the Garda Headquarters.

The campaign asked that the optional safety precautions unconnected to the fixed charge notice system be removed from the publicity material.

The Garda had not yet responded to a request from The Irish Times for a response to the criticism aimed at the campaign.