New system of fines on the way for rule-breaking cyclists

Running red lights will lead to a €40 fine for cyclists
Running red lights will lead to a €40 fine for cyclists

Cyclists will be able to continue using footpaths when the new fixed-charge notices system is introduced.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has made a last-minute decision to omit cycling on footpaths from the penalties list for fear it would discourage families who cycle to school with their young children.

Mr Donohoe will bring in up to three dozen cycling offences under the fixed-charge notices system (FCN).

For the first time, cyclists found breaking the rules of the road will be sent €40 fines in the post under the same system that applies to motorists.

But it's understood that the scheme will not specifically target cyclists who mount footpaths.

The Fine Gael politician is concerned that such a move would create safety issues in certain areas where cyclists have little choice but to mount footpaths.

Central to the minister's decision is the number of families who cycle to school and who may now be dissuaded from using footpaths for fear of being penalised under the new system.

Sources say Mr Donohoe also wants to avoid a situation whereby people are discouraged from taking up cycling as a result of the new penalties.

Although it is widely accepted that cyclists who use footpaths can prove to be a nuisance for pedestrians, the offence of cycling will now not be brought under the fixed-charge notices system.

Instead, the offence of 'Cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration' is to be brought under the FCN system.

This will allow gardaí to deal with those who are cycling in a reckless or aggressive manner on footpaths without consideration for pedestrians.

It's believed that Mr Donohoe has taken the decision to exclude the offence of cycling on footpaths after consultations with gardaí and road safety chiefs.

But up to 36 offences will be brought under the new regime, including breaking red lights and cycling the wrong way on the road.

The full list of offences, and fines, will be published tomorrow.