Cyclists face €50 fine for breaking red lights
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.
But under the new system, they 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.
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.
The proposed fines would be issued through the post and a department spokesman said it has been working closely with gardai on procedures required to implement the new regulations.
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.