Calls for 'common sense' in policing of bus gates
Motorists and road advocates have called for gardaí to use a common sense approach when enforcing the law on roads in Dublin city centre as the Luas cross-city works continue to disrupt traffic.
Only buses and taxis are permitted to use the left lane to take them around the front of Trinity College and through College Green.
Gardaí are traditionally on hand just before cars must move out of the left-hand lane and continue on towards the Westmoreland Street area. However, callers to RTÉ's 'Liveline' radio show yesterday complained officers were now allowing motorists to drive into College Green then hitting them with fines for violating traffic restrictions.
"I was going through Trinity College and there's normally a policeman on duty there waving cars away. It's only buses and taxis because it's single lane because they're building the tram tracks there," taxi driver Martin Duffy told the programme.
"This morning, I was going through and there was no policeman there but when I got to the other side on Dame Street facing Trinity College there was a couple of cars pulled in and they seemed to be giving out tickets."
AA Ireland's Conor Faughnan said the move was disappointing.
"The College Green bus gate at the moment works reasonably well and it has achieved its primary objective of allowing buses to get through there reasonably smoothly. It's not in anybody's interest to hand out fines," he told the Irish Independent.
"I don't see any good purpose to be served, particularly when an individual motorist is not truly trying to abuse regulations, but just genuinely caught out and confused by it because the layout is a little confusing."
He said gardaí should police in a way that is "preventative more than punitive", though he added officers are typically good at applying a common sense approach to enforcing law on our roads.
"It's not like we're talking about drink driving, which is a serious offence and puts lives at risk.
"This is to do with traffic management," he added.