Monday 19 March 2018

What you never knew about your Luas ticket

Photo: PA
Photo: PA

Andrew Phelan

LUAS inspectors have no right to check passengers’ tickets once they leave a tram, a judge has said.

Staff checking tickets to catch fare dodgers regularly wait until a passenger has left the carriage before asking to see their tickets or travel cards.

However, Judge Anthony Halpin told Dublin District Court the inspectors had “no jurisdiction” to do this on a public street.

He said inspectors could only approach people on board a tram.

He dismissed the case against a man who was caught travelling on the Red Line in Dublin city centre without a valid ticket.

Jack Daly (23), with an address at Bru Hostel, Thomas Street, was charged with travelling without a ticket at the Four Courts Luas stop.

The court heard the incident happened last May 19.

Gardai were on a joint operation with Luas staff at 5.10pm when the accused was approached by an inspector and failed to produce a ticket or supply any details.

He had left the carriage at the time.

“They only have jurisdiction to ask for a ticket on the Luas,” Judge Halpin said.

“If he is on a public highway, only An Garda Siochana have the power to stop someone on a public highway. Luas inspectors cannot stop someone on the public pavement.

“It irks me when I see that happen – they have no jurisdiction to do that.

“The offence has not been made out in law, so I am dismissing the charge.”

Luas by-laws state: “Where an authorised person observes an individual alighting from a light rail vehicle they may request that the individual produces a valid ticket for inspection on the stop platform.”

Under the by-laws, a platform is defined as being six metres from the white line, or as far as the next bounded property, wall or fence.

Its length is bounded by pedestrian crossings or physical barriers such as guard rails.

Transdev, which operates the Luas, declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

Separately, Daly admitted a charge of causing criminal damage to a fire extinguisher at Leixlip Garda Station.

The incident happened last August 14, when the accused was in custody.

He became aggressive towards the gardai and kicked out at the fire extinguisher box, smashing it and causing €120 worth of damage.

He had five prior convictions for offences including assault. He had been in custody in relation to the assault when he caused the damage.

Daly was from a very respectable family and was the only family member to have “got into difficulty”, said his solicitor, Lorraine Stephens.

He accepted he had been “very unreasonable” in the garda station.

Daly’s brother was in court with the compensation and this was paid over.

Judge Halpin then fined the accused €99 on the criminal damage charge.


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