Cyclists.ie — the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network — has described the level of enforcement and detection as “derisory” and as “a scandal”, and has called on Transport Minister Paschal Donoghue to tighten the laws governing cycle lanes.
The Garda Press Office said that 144 tickets were issued to motorists across the country in 2014 for the offence of parking in a cycle lane.
Parking in a cycle lane can be interpreted as an offence under two criteria:
Either as a failure to comply with prohibitory traffic signs, or the dedicated law that prohibits driving on a cycle track.
Both offences carry a penalty of a €60 fine and one penalty point.
Michael McKillen, chairman of Cyclist.ie, said that cycle lanes are “abused wholesale” and that cyclists experience a high number of vehicles parked in cycle facilities on a daily basis.
“The level of detection and enforcement shows that An Garda Síochána are slow to meet the road safety needs of cyclists,” said Mr McKillen.
“The failure to detect and enforce this offence is a derisory attempt at law enforcement.”
“No one cares about getting more citizens cycling by tackling bad behaviour of drivers. Cycle lanes and tracks are for the safety of cyclists and not a parking slot or other convenience for drivers.
“The abuse of them by drivers is scandalous and the gardaí just don’t detect or enforce the regulation as enacted by the Oireachtas. It is selective law enforcement as decided by gardaí. Our lawmakers make laws that they intend should have infringements detected and enforced.”
Mr McKillen said another problem facing cyclists is a loophole in the law that allows vehicles delivering goods to park in cycle lanes for up to 30 minutes.
He said that this provision needs to be changed by the Transport Minister so that cycle lanes are the sole preserve of cyclists. “It’s a typical Irish solution to a driver’s problem,” he said.
While Cork City Council said that its wardens issue tickets for parking in cycle lanes, Dublin City Council said that this was a function of the gardaí.
Fingal County Council said that its traffic wardens only patrol areas where there is pay and display and there are no cycleways in those areas, and that gardaí are responsible for all other enforcement.
Galway City Council said no tickets have been issued by its wardens for parking in a cycle lane in 2014.