Image Credit: Instagram @dandangarcia
One of Dublin's unique features of recent times is the introduction of the rickshaw.
A bicycle manned by one person, a rickshaw will drop you and your friend off anywhere in the city and they're a mainstay in places like Harcourt Street - Copper's regulars know the suss.
Now Shane Ross, The Transport Minister, is holding a meeting with the Attorney General to plan an outright ban for rickshaws.
Shane Ross informed the Oireachtas Transport Committee that regulating the night time industry is too expensive, relative to the number of people who benefit from it.
Drives do not have to abide by transport laws as the service is categorised under pedal cyclists. The Minister believes most rickshaw users do not abide by road safety rules. Speaking to the Oireachtas, Ross listed offenses made by rickshaw drivers and suggested some drivers participate in drug dealing:
Complaints range from blocking footpaths and forcing pedestrians onto the road. Weaving recklessly in and out of traffic. Little or no heed for the rules of the road. Breaking red lights. Driving the wrong way up a one-way street. Transporting passengers with little care for their safety. Of course, there have been collisions. The NTA Survey revealed 57% of rickshaw passengers as reporting Accidents or Near Misses. This is a shocking statistic.
The National Transport Authority were consulted on the matter and the preferred action is to issue a ban.
Ross is engaging with his officials who will discuss with the Office of Attorney General to consider any potential blockages. The Minister is expected to announce his decision before the end of the Dáil term.
Ross is being met with opposition. Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin members have opposed the idea of an outright ban and insist on a form of regulation. Robert Troy called for a permit system and Imelda Munster believes rickshaws offer a viable mode of transport. Other TDs argue drivers use the rickshaw to supplement their income, a way to improve their English and are popular with the public.