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Friday 20 September 2019

Rickshaw operators 'will need licence and Garda vetting' in clampdown

  • Rickshaw drivers will require licence and Garda vetting under new plans
  • Independent.ie previously revealed how some rickshaw operators were selling drugs to customers
  • Significant move follows widespread calls for introduction of regulations on rickshaws
A rickshaw in Dublin city centre and inset, Transport Minister Shane Ross
A rickshaw in Dublin city centre and inset, Transport Minister Shane Ross
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Rickshaw operators will require a licence and Garda vetting under new plans to regulate the growing late night transport service.

Independent.ie previously revealed how some rickshaw operators were selling drugs to customers during cross city journeys.

Under the Government clampdown motorised rickshaws will be completely banned while other non-electric operators will have to adhere to similar regulations as taxi drivers. 

The significant move follows widespread calls for the introduction of regulations on rickshaws which are available in most major Irish cities.

There have also been serious concerns over the safety of rickshaws as they are mostly used by young people leaving pubs and nightclubs late at night.

The new legislation will require rickshaw owners to apply for a licence if they want to operate. They will need a tax clearance cert and Garda vetting to be eligible for the licence.

A recent National Transport Authority survey found 57pc of rickshaw passengers as reporting accidents or near-misses during their journeys.

It has also been reported that 154 rickshaw drivers have been arrested while working under the Misuse of Drugs Act in the Pearse Street District in the past 18 months.

Transport Minister Shane Ross, who previously said he favoured an outright ban of rickshaws, will bring the legislation to Cabinet tomorrow.

Speaking at an Oireachtas Committee meeting in May, Mr Ross said he was in favour of a outright ban on all rickshaws because of the costs involved in regulating the sector.

Inset: The injuries sustained by passengers involved in incidents on rickshaws
Inset: The injuries sustained by passengers involved in incidents on rickshaws

Minister Ross said: "New legislation would be needed but enforcement of a ban should cost significantly less than implementing a full new regulatory regime.

"We would still have to define the rickshaw vehicle in law, and provide for detention powers. But this would involve a much simpler piece of legislation.

"Enforcement should also be less resource-intensive. The NTA would not need extra staff. Gardaí could be empowered to act decisively when coming upon a rickshaw on a public road," he added.

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