Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dad-of-two furious after rickshaw crashed into car and cycled off: ‘It’s going to cost me €2k’

Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A dad-of-two working as a taxi driver in Dublin fears he will now be almost €2k out-of-pocket as a rickshaw driver who crashed into his car is refusing to pay.

Lee Li (37) was waiting at a set of traffic lights on Hatch Street when a rickshaw driver rear-ended his car and cycled off.

The incident happened on May 20 at around 2am and Mr Li has been trying to get the driver to pay him for the damage caused ever since.

Mr Li drove after the rickshaw driver when the accident happened, pulled him over and called gardai.

However, after initially saying he would fund the repairs, the rickshaw driver has not yet paid Mr Li.

“I have no idea what to do now as he hasn’t paid me, the guards say they can’t do anything as it’s to do with insurance and the Small Claims Court said they can’t take on the case as it involves a ‘bicycle,’” Mr Li told Independent.ie.

The back bumper of his Toyota car was damaged in the incident. He has received a quote of €1,500 for a new bumper and the cost of repairs.

Mr Li hasn’t returned to work since the accident as he said it would be unsafe to drive with a damaged bumper.

“I have been working in Ireland for thirteen years and I had only bought this car last month - it’s ridiculous that this is allowed to happen,” he said.

“They are working with no insurance and are creating chaos in the city. If you cause damage, you should have to pay. If I crashed into someone, I wouldn’t get away with what he is doing.”

Earlier this week, Dublin City Council issued a public advisory notice warning of the safety hazards of using rickshaws.

“Dublin City council wishes to advise members of the public, for their own safety and the safety of others, that rickshaws operating in Dublin City are not regulated by DCC or otherwise,” the notice said.

“Some rickshaw operators appear not to have public liability insurance,” it added.

The council had outlined plans to ban rickshaws from Dublin city centre earlier this year but these plans have not yet materialised.

Legislation introduced by the Road Traffic Act, 2016 gave the National Transport Authority the power to govern the use of “non-motorised passenger transporters in towns and cities.”

However, the NTA said the wording of the legislation made it “doubtful that robust, and legally defensible, regulations governing rickshaws can be made.”

“This type of rickshaw would be outside the definition provided and would, therefore, remain unregulated, negating the objective of the amendment,” the NTA said.

Independent.ie previously exposed how a number of rickshaw drivers were selling drugs on the streets of Dublin, and also highlighted cases where a number of people injured themselves after falling out of rickshaws.

Councillors and TDs have been calling for regulations to be introduced for some time.

In Galway, rickshaws were banned from all pedestrian streets and bye-laws were introduced, whereby rickshaw drivers had to apply to City Hall for a licence that was subject to tax clearance and insurance requirements.

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