Understanding Fixed Charge Notices for Cyclists in Ireland

The introduction of Fixed Charge Notices for some cycling offences begins on Friday 31st July 2015. These Fixed Charge Notices aim to promote safe cycling and tackle some actions that others find objectionable. 

The list of offences now covered under the Fixed Charge Notices are:

  1. Cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration
  2. No front lamp or rear lamp lit during lighting-up hours on a pedal cycle
  3. Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area
  4. Cyclist proceeding past traffic lights when the red lamp is lit
  5. Cyclist proceeding past cycle traffic lights when the red lamp is lit
  6. Cyclist failing to stop for a School Warden sign
  7. Cyclist proceeding beyond a stop line, barrier or half barrier at a railway level crossing, swing bridge or lifting bridge, when the red lamps are flashing

If you are caught committing any of these offences, then the Garda will take your details, and the fixed charge notice will be posted to you in the following days.

The fine for all seven offences is €40, and you have 26 days to pay it.  If you don’t pay within the 26 days then the fine rises by 50% to €60. If you then don’t pay within 56 days, a summons will be issued to appear in court – with a maximum fine of €2,000.

So are these new cycling offences?

No, these have been taken from the list of 36 existing cycling offences that until now have required court time to prosecute. By making them fixed charge notices it saves the time of the court and Garda. The other 29 offences still exist, and can still be prosecuted – and indeed more of them may be covered under the fixed charges in the future.

What about cycling on the pavement?

Apparently this was going to be in the list of fixed charge offences, but was dropped at the last minute – primarily because it makes no allowances for small children riding their bikes on the pavement. But don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s OK to cycle on the pavement. The Guards can still charge you under the generic “without reasonable consideration” offence, or indeed take you to court.

What does “without reasonable consideration” mean?

There has been a degree of criticism that this term is far too open ended and undefined, and could be used by a Garda to prosecute a cyclist for anything they personally found objectionable, even if the cyclist wasn’t doing anything dangerous or illegal.

What if I don’t give them my address when stopped?

You are obliged under law to give the Garda your correct name and address when detained for a traffic offence. If the Guards suspect you’re not being truthful they have the authority to confiscate your bike.

Will these offences actually be enforced?

It’s understood that the Garda and the RSA are using the two weeks period before the new charges come into effect to raise awareness amongst cyclists, and the Garda will be stopping people in the street who are breaking the law, to warn them about the upcoming new charges. And then, come the 1st August, the guards will begin an “enforcement blitz”.

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog richardbloomfield.ie.

2 thoughts on “Understanding Fixed Charge Notices for Cyclists in Ireland

  • 22 August, 2015 at 5:06 am
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    I’m planning to travel to ireland and biking around this amazing country. So lucky for me when I know fixed charge notices for cyclists . thank so much.

    Reply
  • 3 December, 2015 at 7:27 am
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    Great rules has been created! For safe cycling I believe these rules will keep enormous contribution. Every year a lot of people losing their life’s because of cycling accident. So along with fix charge notice and other rules will help police to control everything nicely.

    Reply

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