PLANS are in place to introduce bye laws in the city by the end of the year to regulate sulkie driving.
Superintendent Padraig Dunne told members of the Joint Policing Committee meeting that the law allows for horse drawn vehicles on the road.
“It is different when people use them in a dangerous manner and there is currently someone before the courts for driving a sulkie under the influence of alcohol.” He also informed members that in recent weeks gardai had intercepted a planned sulkie race on the road close to the Glanbia Plant in Ballyragget. Gardai from Kilkenny, Castlecomer and the traffic corps were involved in the planned operation which took place following a report from a member of the public.
Cllr Jimmy Leahy (Fine Gael) remarked that there appeared to be an element of sulkie drivers that wanted to flout the law. “With regard to the general use of them around the town there appears to be an element that wants to flout the law. There appears to be a lack of co operation from some sulkie users,” he said.
Supt Dunne pointed out that the use of sulkies was not confined to Kilkenny and added that it was an area that needed to be addressed on a national platform.
Committee chairman, Paul Cuddihy said that for safety reasons he had to wear a helmet while cycling a bicycle and added that the same regulations should apply to sulkie driving. “If you are thrown off a sulkie and you are travelling at 30 miles and hour then you are in trouble,” he said.
Supt Dunne also informed members that people from all different backgrounds partake in sulkie driving and added that he knew of gardai who involved in the activity.
Committee member Pat Mc Cauley pointed out that he had seen a lot of young children on them and warned that it was ‘only a matter of time before an accident happens’.
Cllr Cuddihy with the support of the commitee said that he would like to begin the process of bringing in bye laws in that area. “It is an ongoing issue for a long time,” he said. Committee member Joseph Mguni added that what was needed was to identify who would be responsible for engaging with the people involved.”
Mr Cuddihy concluded the debate by stating that the bye laws would not be introduced overnight and a realistic date for the implementation of the proposed laws would be the end of the year.
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