Cyclists given 1,660 on-the-spot fines over past two years
Cycling groups call for clampdown on car drivers who break red lights and use phones
“I hope that An Garda Síochána are applying similar resources to speeding and breaking lights by cars as well as tackling cyclists,” said Green Party councillor Ciarán Cuffe. Photograph: Alan Betson
More than 1,500 on-the-spot fines have been handed out to cyclists in the two years since their introduction, according to figures released by the Garda.
Breaking a red light was the most common offence, accounting for 843 of the 1,660 fines issued.
The fines, or fixed-charge notices, were introduced on July 31st, 2015 by Paschal Donohue, the then transport minister.
Cyclists can be issued with fines of €40 by gardaí for a number of offences, such as cycling in a pedestrianised area, riding without reasonable consideration and failing to have lights. The fine rises to €60 if it is not paid within 26 days, and if it remains unpaid, court fines of up to €2,000 can be imposed.
So far this year 441 fines have been issued, with 172 of them for breaking a red light followed by cycling in a pedestrianised area (88) and riding without reasonable consideration (73). Having no front light has resulted in 57 fines this year, slightly more than the 51 given for not having a rear light.
Dr Paul Corcoran, chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said the fines are proving a deterrent to cyclists breaking road safety regulations.
“I welcome that the gardaí are clamping down on cyclists. It is an issue amongst a minority of people that don’t obey the rules and we would endorse that all cyclists out there would do so,” he said.
“We also think there is a lack of enforcement of fixed-charge notices for car drivers as well, for parking in cycle lanes, drivers breaking red lights – and phone usage especially is a big issue.”
There were 588 fines handed out to cyclists in the last five months of 2015, while 631 were issued in the whole of 2016. Last year 318 fines were issued for breaking a red light, followed by cycling without reasonable consideration (128) and cycling without a front light (84).
I think it’s important the guards enforce the law and I hope that they will apply the same vigour to enforcing speed limits in the city
Just two fines have been handed out for failing to stop at a school warden sign since the introduction of the fines.
Green Party councillor and chairman of Dublin City Council’s transport committee Ciarán Cuffe said he hoped the Garda was allocating the same amount of resources towards motorists who speed or break lights.
“I think it’s important the guards enforce the law and I hope that they will apply the same vigour to enforcing speed limits in the city, particularly the new 30km/h limits that are creating calmer communities,” Mr Cuffe said.
“When any road user breaks the law, it’s important that the gardaí do something about it and I hope that An Garda Síochána are applying similar resources to speeding and breaking lights by cars as well as tackling cyclists.”
Ten cyclists have been killed on Irish roads this year, the same as the total number of cyclists who died in road incidents in 2016.
In total there have been 102 road deaths so far this year, with the majority of them drivers (43) followed by pedestrians (20), passengers and motorcyclists (both 14).