Gardai launch crackdown on cyclists ahead of new fines being introduced
GARDAI have begun a campaign to warn rogue cyclists they are breaking the law ahead of the introduction of €40 penalties.
From August 1, cyclists face Fixed Notice Charges (FNCs) for seven offences including breaking a red light or entering a pedestrian area.
A campaign by gardai is already in place ahead of the introduction of the new FNCs, brought in by Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe.
Gardai are stopping cyclists who commit an offence and will warn them that from next month they will be fined for the same behaviour.
Leaflets are also being handed out to cyclists to explain the new system, which includes a sample of the FNCs that people will receive.
All gardai, not just traffic corps officers, will be expected to hand out the fines to people who are seen breaking the rules.
A garda spokesman told the Herald that the initiative was designed to promote cycling safety for people and to help cyclists avoid the fines.
"We've promoted cycling all along and now we just want to ensure that people comply with the new legislation," he said.
The Irish Cycling Advocacy Network met with representatives from the gardai last week to discuss the changes to the law.
"It's a fair policy to let people know what's going to happen and I think it will improve behaviour," Colm Ryder from the campaign said.
Until now cyclists were faced with a court summons if they were found to be in breach of the law.
Under the new laws they will be issued a charge through the post and given 28 days to pay the €40 fine.
If they do not pay in that time the amount owed rises to €60 and failure to pay that fine will see the cyclist issued with a summons.
Other offences include failing to stop for a school warden sign and not having a light on their bike during lighting up hours.
Cycling on footpaths is not included, but Minister Donohoe has said that he expects that fines handed out for cycling without "reasonable consideration" will deal with this issue.
Mr Donohoe said that he did not want a situation where parents would not be able to cycle on a path with their children.