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Tuesday 24 April 2018

Rogue cyclists facing €50 fine for breaking red lights

Cyclists are to face a clampdown
Cyclists are to face a clampdown
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Cyclists face on-the-spot fines of at least €50 for breaking red lights and other dangerous habits under new rules.

The regulations, which could be in place by the end of the summer, will see offences being targeted by Gardai anxious to clamp down on so-called lycra louts.

Under the present laws, a Garda can stop a cyclist, take their name and details and threaten them with a district court appearance if they break the rules of the road.

In extreme cases they can impound the bicycle.

Read More: Two-thirds of cyclists don't stop at red lights

Under the new system, Gardai will be able to issue the fines which will start at a value of €50.

The move is seen as a way of freeing-up court time and treating cyclists more like motorists.

The Department of Transport said it hoped the fines would be a good deterrent and encourage better road behaviour.

Cyclists are being criticised for threatening the safety of others, as well as themselves, by breaking red lights at junctions and along the Luas lines in Dublin.

Read more: New road safety campaign highlights ‘Blind Spots’ around trucks for cyclists

But some say the new laws will not go far enough and that cyclists should be registered like other road users.

"A minority of reckless two-wheelers still take to the roads on a daily basis with impunity and with no fear of any real repercussions," said one source.

Some Gardai would like to see cyclists getting penalty points for any bad behaviour.

If introduced, a Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) will issue to the cyclist in the same way that FCNs currently issue to vehicle drivers, that is, through the post.

Read More: Rogue cyclists set to face on-the-spot fines

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe is considering the introduction of the fines.

His predecessor Minister Leo Varadkar, who also advocated a penalty for cyclists breaking rules, previously said the plan was not about "targeting" cyclists.

"It's about ensuring that our roads are safe for all of us," he said.

"Roads are a shared public space and belong to everyone - drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and heavy vehicles," Minister Varadkar added at the time.

In 2014, 12 cyclists were killed on the roads, seven more than in 2013.


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