Just read another thread about an upaid Luas fine resulting in a court summons.
It got me thinking: What powers do the Luas ticket inspectors actually have?
Let's say you haven't a valid ticket and are stopped by an inspector
a) inside the tram, or
b) outside the tram.
Q1. Does he have the power either way to issue you a fine on the spot?
Q2. I commonly see them checking newly alighted passengers. If you are outside of the tram when inspected, can you say you had a ticket and left it on the tram?
After all, you were not found on the tram without a valid ticket, so no evidence you didn't have one, and you're now on a public road, so surely he can't stop you walking off?
Q3. And how does he know you will give him a correct name & address anyway?
He can compel you for ID but has no power to search you. And even if he had your full name, most people wouldn't have proof of address on them.
Q4. If you do not cooperate, such as giving no details or trying to just walk off, can they do a sort of citizen's arrest, similar to what a security guard would do to a shoplifter, and wait for the Gardaí to arrive?
The bylaws around this were changed a few months ago. You can now be checked on a tram or on a platform after leaving a tram.
If they have reason to fine you, they will ask for proof of ID. If you don't have any, they will ask for a phone number and then call that number to make sure it's yours and working.
Ok. That answers Q2.
They can stop you on the platform if they have seen you alight.
Straight away I see a loophole: If the person ignores the inspector(s) and hops off the platform asap after alighting the tram.
That should annoy them but they can't put a hand on you I'd say and once off the platform, the bye-law is null and void.
Right, that's Q3.
So at best they have your real name (through proof of ID) & phone number (through ringing you phone), plus whatever (potentially fake) address you gave them.
Not much to go on if you give fake details!
I should say at this point I'm not looking to fare dodge. Just wondering how good or bad their powers are!
I would wonder who proposed or ammended these bye-laws ?
My opinion would be that LUAS inspectors are on a par with security in terms of what they can do ..... not a whole lot.
once they touch you its considered assault ... even blocking your path if you are walking away is considered false imprisonment as they are impeding your freedom of movement..... they have no powers of detention as far as I'm concerned.
in the same way that a security guard cannot demand someone go back into the shop (they can request it and if you refuse they can make their accusations - at this point they open themselves to defamation actions)
No and yes. They don't issue fines but what they can issue is a standard fare or fixed penalty, this they can do as "authorised officers".
As answered already, yes they can.
As mentioned again, they can and do double check same precisely to make sure they haven't got duff information for what may turn into a summons at court. A simple phone call will do if need be.
Yes they can if need be. Don't forget that they travel in numbers, are radioed and they carry phones so Garda assistance won't be far away should they need it. It's also an offence to not give details to them or to give incorrect details, by the way.
All these dodges are very clever and could work fine if you use the Luas once in a blue moon. But if you use the Luas any way regularly, the inspectors are going to get to know you. Sooner or later your pic will end up on record and even the new inspectors will be watching out for you. Then it is a matter of time until they get you arrested or find out your real name and address.
But as we have said above, they may have your correct name & phone number, but how could they ascertain your true address?
I take antoinolachtnai's point. You might get away with it a few times, but eventually you'd be caught out.
And rightly so.
Having a landline number at home or work would be a good first step, I'd imagine. Thom's Directory or the Electoral Register are two other accurate reference points as well; I'm sure that they have their tricks.
I doubt many people give their landline number (even if I had one, it wouldn't occur to me) and even fewer would give a work number. I'd imagine the best they can hope for is a mobile number - I presume they could get a court order requiring the operator to disclose the registered address (if there is one).
That reminds me of a story I heard recently off an Irish Rail staff member I know. A guy boarded at Mallow with a student ticket and no ID card and was landed with a Standard Fare and asked for his details. He refused to give his details and when the train pulled into Cork he high tailed it, hopped over the barrier and pegged it into a taxi, giving the RPU guy the finger with a cheesy big grin on his chops.
You can imagine his disgust a day later when he got a knock on his door over and stuck him with a penalty fare plus a call out charge that the gardai levied on him as well, he being tracked down via the taxi driver that he hailed
Thats not very effective to be honest. I always pay on the Luas but still I think it would be easy enough to get away with not paying.
Why not just give them a fake name/address and your real mobile number? They'll call and see it rings and assume you're telling the truth.
Having worked for several telecoms company, they wont give any customers information unless they have a written request from an authorised Gardai.
Its going to be months before they figure out the fine went to a fake address etc.
Even if they did eventually get your details from the phone company, you can just say 'I lost that phone months ago'. After getting the fine you can even call the phone company and get them to change the registration details of the phone and change it back any time (assuming pre-pay).
Another thing, there's no way to prove that someone actually gave that mobile number anyway. How do we know it even rang or the inspector didnt get a digit wrong? Why not just say "you must have gotten that phone number wrong", inspector says "But I seen it ring!" "Prove it!"
Yes I have so much ****ing time travelling each day on Luas/Bus/Dart that I actually have time to think about these things.
Its a question of them being satisfied that they have got the correct details from you, though. As I said, they know what to look and ask for.
Why would you give a landline number?
Why not just give the name and address of a neighbour or someone you went to school with?
I presume they would ring landline numbers straight away to try to check that the person living there knows the person they've collared.