Why it pays for cyclists to report drivers’ cycle lane abuses to Garda

Posted on: May 22nd, 2019

Gardai policing cycle lanes: It’s a case of ‘report it and they will come’. If you’re annoyed about repeated abuses by drivers of cycle lanes, you should take the step of making a formal complaint and get other cyclists to do the same.

Cyclists tend to go on social media and complain about cycle lane infringements; whether it’s parking on cycle lanes and motorists driving into them.

In real terms, this kind of complaining achieves very little. There seems to be no culture within the Garda of monitoring social media for reports of crimes – certainly lower end of the scale crimes – and then acting on them.

And while the Garda’s social media presence is increasing and improving in quality, it is still pretty modest.

Chances are your complaining on social media – even if you post video and photos – won’t be seen by anyone in authority in the Garda force.

But the Garda social media accounts for the ‘Southern Region’ – that’s Cork, Kerry and Limerick – have posted a message that should interest us all.

After receiving many complaints about drivers encroaching on cycle lanes, they’ve begun monitoring the situation.

And they’ve taken to social media to report the fact complaints were received and action taken.

“As a result of complaints brought to Gardaí, our Roads Policing Unit from Henry St in Limerick City conducted patrols making sure cycle lanes were not obstructed,” it said.

“Cyclists are vulnerable road users and we will continue to monitor this. Be safe, be seen and share the road responsibly.”

Moral of the story? If you see repeat offending on a stretch of cycle lane you use regularly, go and make a report to the Garda and get other cyclists you know, and who use the same route, to do the same.

If you don’t report it; it will simply never become a priority for the Garda.

There is no doubt they’ll act on a very large volume of social media activity highlighting offending in the same area. But a much smaller number of complaints made through the proper channels can have the same result only much faster.