herald

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Public warned over safety of using rickshaws

Rickshaw in Dublin city centre
Rickshaw in Dublin city centre

Dublin City Council has issued a public safety warning over rickshaw drivers currently operating in the city centre.

In a public notice, the local authority said it wished "to advise members of the public, for their own safety and the safety of others, that rickshaw drivers operating in Dublin City are not regulated by Dublin City Council".

The council added that some rickshaw operators "appear not to have public liability insurance".

Earlier this year chief executive Owen Keegan admitted it was not possible to regulate rickshaws as new legislation did not cover vehicles with motors.

Regulations

Mr Keegan said that during the legislative process for the Road Traffic Act 2016, a new section was inserted into the Taxi Regulation Act 2013 which let the National Transport Authority (NTA) make regulations.

While this has not yet been implemented, it would not work for the majority of rickshaws because most have an electric motor.

He said legal advice given to the NTA means it is unlikely the regulations will hold up in court without the type of vehicle being specified.

Fianna Fail councillor Daithi de Roiste said that rickshaws are "ruining the city" and that regulation is urgently needed.

"They are a disgrace and the way things are they are ruining the city. There is currently no way of controlling these vehicles.

"Legislation needs to be brought in where people are registered and insured to operate them, because at the moment most rickshaw drivers are a law unto themselves," Mr de Roiste said.

"It's not good enough that they are operating freely and predominately serving people who are under the influence of alcohol on busy streets at night," he added.

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