10,400 drivers are caught using bus lanes since 2017
Motorists have been slapped with fines for driving in Dublin bus lanes more than 10,400 times since 2017, new figures reveal.
The number of fixed charge notices issued to drivers for entering bus lanes in the capital last year soared by almost 30pc to 4,131.
It looks set to reach a similar figure by the end of 2019.
By the end of last month, a total of 3,109 fines had been doled out to motorists for related offences.
The vast majority of these were for entering a bus lane, while 37 fines were issued for entering a contra-flow bus lane or a bus-only street.
The statistics for the Dublin Metropolitan Region were revealed by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan in response to a parliamentary question by Fine Gael Deputy Noel Rock.
"This data indicates a significant increase in the number of fixed charge notices issued in respect of these matters in 2018 when compared to 2017," said Mr Flanagan.
"Levels of fixed charge notices issued to date in 2019 appear generally consistent with the level seen in 2018."
An Garda Siochana clamped down on bus-lane encroachments earlier this year, reporting that 17 drivers had been handed fines relating to offences detected on Cork Street, Dublin 8, during the course of a single day.
It also conducted a bus-lane enforcement operation on Harold's Cross Road, reporting on social media that it had received "positive feedback from pedal cyclists, motorists and taxi drivers".
The figures provided by Mr Flanagan show that motorists collected 3,181 fines for bus-lane offences in 2017.
The number climbed to 4,131 last year, and is on course to remain at a similar level by the end of this year.
He said that An Garda Siochana is being adequately resourced to ensure that it can remain mobile, visible and responsive on the roads in a bid to keep bus lanes free for public transport only during the designated times .
"The resources provided by Government to An Garda Siochana have reached record levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76bn," he said.
He added that next year this will be exceeded with "an unprecedented €1.88bn".