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  • Northside West

Fresh calls to end scrambler scourge

Thursday, 13th December, 2018 8:00am
Fresh calls to end scrambler scourge

Pictured at the campaign launch were Mayors of South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council, Cllr Mark Ward and Cllr Anthony Lavin, along with Garda representatives, council officials, road safety officers and members of  Motor Cycling Ireland.

Fresh calls to end scrambler scourge

Pictured at the campaign launch were Mayors of South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council, Cllr Mark Ward and Cllr Anthony Lavin, along with Garda representatives, council officials, road safety officers and members of  Motor Cycling Ireland.

A LOCAL TD has questioned the Government’s commitment to tackling the scourge of quad bikes and scramblers being recklessly driven around local housing estates and parks.

Dublin North West TD, Dessie Ellis (SF), raised the issue in the Dáil on the same week that Fingal County Council launched a new campaign to highlight the dangers quads and scramblers pose to children.

Official casualty figures show that between 2014 and 2017, there were 39 people killed or injured in collisions involving a quad or scrambler on public roads. Over 40 percent were aged 18 or under.

Locals in Finglas have been recently tormented at all hours of the day by the noise from scramblers without exhaust silencers being driven around Tolka Valley Park and in nearby estates.

Local councillor Paul McAuliffe (FF) was recently stopped at Fitzmaurice Road junction in Ballygall when a scrambler bike driven by two youths crashed into the back of his car.

During the summer Cllr McAuliffe called for bikes driven by children that are seized by Gardaí to be crushed instead of being returned to owners, as is the current legal obligation. 

Earlier this year a Sinn Fein bill to give gardaí extra powers to deal with quad bikes and scramblers being misused in public spaces failed to get Government support.

Instead, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan established a cross-agency working group tasked with delivering a solution. However, the group was convened last April but has yet to publish reccomendations.

“The minister has said he is fully committed to supporting any positive actions to counteract this serious public safety issue,” Deputy Ellis said. “But when the opportunity arose in the Dáil to support such positive actions his Government failed to do so.”

In response to Deputy Ellis, Minister Flanagan said he had received advice from the attorney general on the matter and was very keen to bring forward proposals.

“But I’m very keen to bring forward proposals that are workable,” he added.

Deputy Ellis said the Government had not offered any solutions or alternatives to the Sinn Fein bill and called on parents not to buy quads or scramblers as presents.

“With Christmas only a few weeks away I would once again appeal to parents and others not to buy them as presents for your children or other family members,” he said.

“They are a danger to your children and to those who use our public parks or live in your housing estates.”

Meanwhile, Fingal County Council has launched a joint public awareness campaign highlighting the dangers quad bikes and scramblers pose to children.

The campaign supports a recent initiative by the Road Safety Authority, which includes an advert featuring motocross rider Stuart Edmonds.

The advert outlines the correct environment and care to be taken when riding these vehicles, and will be shown in cinemas throughout Fingal and South Dublin.

Director of Services at Fingal County Council, David Storey, said parents needed to be aware that scramblers and quads have potentially lethal consequences.

“Ensuring the safety of users of scramblers and quad bikes is our main priority,” he continued. “Fingal County Council is working closely with An Garda Síochána to address anti-social behaviour arising from the use of these vehicles.”

Motorcycling Ireland (MCI) is backing the campaign and the organisation’s president, Sean Bissett, encouraged young riders to use resources that are provided for them through MCI.

“There are affiliated clubs all over Ireland who can provide guidance and advice for beginners,” he said.

“The resources are there for people to enter this sport in a safe, responsible way and we encourage all riders to contact their club and learn how to partake in this sport correctly.”

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here