‘No power to regulate rickshaws’

by Emma Nolan

THE Department of Transport and the National transport Authority (NTA) have “no powers” to regulate the uninsured rickshaws in Dublin city.
A walk through Dublin city centre on Friday and Saturday nights shows the sheer number of rickshaws that line the streets waiting to pick up punters as they leave pubs and clubs. The majority of the drivers are Brazilian.
Following a motion by Dublin city councillors calling on the Minister for Transport, The Carriage Office and Dublin City Council to address the “non-control” of rickshaws, Minister Ross has said that the pedal-powered rickshaws come within the definition of ‘pedal cycles’, and are classified as ‘mechanically-propelled vehicles’.
This means that the measures which were introduced last year to allow gardai to issue fixed charge notices to cyclists also apply to pedal-powered rickshaws.
However, the mechanically-propelled rickshaws, when carrying passengers for reward in a public place, come within the definition of ‘small public service vehicle’ (SPSV) and are prohibited under current SPSV legislation.
Pedal-powered rickshaws do not come within the definition of ‘small public service vehicle’ and therefore fall outside the remit of the NTA under the Taxi Regulation ACT 2013.
“Therefore, neither the NTA nor my department currently have powers to regulate pedal-powered rickshaws,” Minister Ross told The Gazette.
City councillor Ray McHugh (SF) said: “Rickshaw owners should be registered and licensed, and if the rickshaw business is controlled by one or two people, Revenue should be involved. Taxi drivers have to do tax returns, and so should rickshaw owners.”
Minister Ross said that he is now engaged with the NTA on the issue, with “passenger safety the key focus”.
Cllr McHugh has said that this “is not enough”, however, and added: “We need a proper control on the use of rickshaws, with a license system and registration of owners.”
Earlier this month, Deputy Sean Crowe (SF) called for the Government to urgently introduce new legislation to regulate the growing number of rickshaw operators.
He said: “This is a crazy situation that has been allowed to develop by the authorities. Other road users are highly regulated and penalised in many cases with the added burden of increased insurance and licencing laws.
“New regulation is clearly needed for the health and safety of the general public.

Related Articles