The Transport Minister plans to consult with the Attorney General about an outright ban on rickshaws.
Shane Ross is telling the Oireachtas Transport Committee that regulating the night time industry is too expensive, relative to the number of people who benefit from it.
Rickshaw drivers are exempt from bye-laws because they're technically pedal cyclists; but the Minister says most of them flout basic road safety rules:
"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."
It's been acknowledged that many operators are legitimate and are legally compliant, but some rickshaw drivers are also believed to be involved in criminality including drug dealing.
The minister says following a public consultation by the National Transport Authority, the preferred action is to issue a total ban on rickshaws.
"However, this option is not entirely without obstacles. My officials are engaging with the Office of Attorney General to consider any blockages... Legal advice takes an unwelcome amount of time, but it is essential. I know that I need to be clear – not only that the right decision is being made, but that it is being made in the right way.
Once consultations with the Office of the Attorney General are complete, I expect to be in a position to finalise and announce my decision before the end of this Dáil term."
But opposition TDs have hit out at the plans. They say there are legitimate operators, rickshaws are popular with the public and some drivers rely on them to supplement their income.
Instead Fianna Fail's Robert Troy is calling for a permit system, arguing the revenue raised from licensing could offset the costs of introducing regulation.
Sinn Fein's Imelda Munster says many European capitals successfully operate rickshaws, which offer a viable alternative mode of transport.