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Dublin: 10°C Tuesday 27 October 2020

Cyclists face new fines, but will they work?

Cycling groups have questions about the enforceability of the new charges.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

NEW FIXED CHARGES are coming in for cyclists who commit certain road traffic offences.

The fines come into effect at the end of the month, but will they make any difference?

Mike McKillen, Chairperson of the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network, said the group were unsure if fixed charges are the right deterrent.


There is disproportionality with these fines and other road traffic offences for drivers.

The fine for cyclists for all seven offences – from breaking red lights to failing to stop at a level crossing – is €40. McKillen said it is €60 for drivers who park on cycle lanes.

That fine is too low as it is not deterring drivers and makes road use unsafe for cyclists, so if this fine is €40, I wonder if it will make any difference. If €60 isn’t making a difference, €40 isn’t going to deter cyclists going through a red light.

However, while it may deter a few “reckless cyclists” on the roads, the advocacy group believes the fines are premature and reactionary.

What’s the reaction?

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While the fines are coming in at the end of the month, McKillen said it was difficult to gauge what the reaction of cyclists will be to the new fines, but he questioned the enforceability of the charges, which will be issued by the gardaí.

The level of enforcement already is not good. For a garda on the beat it is easier to stop a cyclist than to stop a driver, so my prediction is that it will be easier for cyclists to be reprimanded rather than drivers who break the law on the road.

He said it was disappointing that there has been no formal public consultation on this issue, whereby there could be debate about the measurable impact of the fines on the national road safety statistics.

We urge the minister and the Road Safety Authority to open a proper public consultation process, stating that the Road Traffic Policy ​should be [about] the safety of all road users. 

Poll: Will the new fines make you a safer cyclists? 

Poll Results:

No (2230)
Yes (1353)
I don't know (547)

Read: Are you a cyclist? Here are the 7 offences you can get fined €40 for>

Read: London just approved a new plan for ‘cycle superhighways’ – here’s what they look like>

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