Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Traffic Legislation
616. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to the Topical Issue debate on 15 January 2015, if he will examine a reply (details supplied) issued by Dublin City Council which contradicts the information he provided to Dáil Éireann on the enforceability of road traffic legislation in public parks; if he will liaise with Dublin City Council in order that it will be properly established whether local gardaí and local authorities are simply not well enough informed about road traffic legislation or whether there is evidence available from them about difficulties in enforcing road traffic legislation in public parks. [3945/15]
The reply from Dublin City Council which was attached to the Deputy's Question accurately reflects the position regarding the non-applicability of the Road Traffic Acts to public parks. My response to the Topical Issues Debate of 15 January last dealt with the topic raised, which was the use of 'scrambler bikes in public spaces’. My response would have been more expansive if I had known the full interest of the Deputy.
Road traffic legislation applies to the use of mechanically propelled vehicles in a public place and the Gardaí have responsibility for the enforcement of this legislation. For the purposes of road traffic legislation, a 'public place' means any public road, and any street, road or other place to which the public have access with vehicles whether as of right or by permission and whether subject to or free of charge.
While this includes car parks and the road leading to them in public parks, it does not include parts of a park where mechanically propelled vehicles are not allowed to operate. The rules governing such places are generally contained in bye-laws made by the relevant local authorities and I note in this case that Dublin City Council point out that their bye-laws specifically state that vehicles such as motorbikes and scramblers are not permitted in parks, albeit that the Council said it had difficulty enforcing this.
It remains the position, however, that responsibility for public parks, including enforcement of the applicable bye-laws, is a matter for the relevant local authority.