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Let police take law-breaking cyclists to nearest ATM, urges Irish politician

Eoghan Murphy wants on-the-spot fines to be exactly that

An Irish politician has urged that police be given powers to take cyclists found breaking the law to the nearest cashpoint machine so they can get money out to pay fines imposed on them, reports the Irish Examiner.

The proposal was made by Dublin South East TD (equivalent to an MP in the UK) Eoghan Murphy in a question put to minister for transport, tourism and sport, Paschal Donohoe.

The Fina Gael TD asked the minister “If he will introduce new powers to allow An Garda Síochána [police] to fine cyclists in breach of the law on the spot, and to collect fines on the spot, as happens in other European countries, where the police have the power to escort offenders to the nearest automated teller machines if the offenders do not have the funds on them.”

> Ireland sees rise in cycling as a primary form of transport

In July this year, Fina Fail politician Mr Donohoe brought in legislation that provided for €40 fixed charged notices to be issued for the following offences:

Cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration

No front lamp or rear lamp lit during lighting-up hours on a pedal cycle

Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area

Cyclist proceeding past traffic lights when the red lamp is illuminated

Cyclist proceeding past cycle traffic lights when red lamp is lit.

Cyclist failing to stop for a School Warden sign

Cyclist proceeding beyond a stop line, barrier or half barrier at a railway level crossing, swing bridge or lifting bridge, when the red lamps are flashing.

The fixed charged notices are sent by post to the addresses that offenders give to gardaí.

Rejecting Mr Murrphy's appeal, Mr Donohoe said: “I do not intend to introduce new powers to allow gardaí to collect cycling fines on the spot.

“Under our Constitution, all citizens are entitled to their day in court when accused of committing a crime.

“A cyclist intercepted while committing a fixed- charge offence, has the option of paying the fixed charge amount within the prescribed timeframes or having their case heard in a court of law.

“If a fixed charge notice is not paid within 56 days, a summons to appear in court will issue,” the minister added.

> Dublin wins at inaugural Cycle Planning Awards

According to Mr Murphy, his propoisal would have eased the burden on the court system.

He said: “I’m a cyclist and I see other cyclists breaking the law every day.

“I thought it might be a good way to improve cyclist behaviour without expending unnecessary time, resources, and money by following up notices through the courts.

“There’s a lot more that needs to be done regarding other road users, infrastructure and so on to encourage cycling and make it safer and I’m involved in those efforts too.

“But more people are cycling now and that’s great,” he added.

> Dublin to make city centre car free, aims for 15 per cent cycling share

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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