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  • Southside

Gardaí to be granted new powers to tackle quad bike menace

Tuesday, 9th April, 2019 8:00am
Gardaí to be granted new powers to tackle quad bike menace

South Dublin County Council, along with gardai, council officials, and members of  Motor Cycling Ireland launched a public awareness campaign last year.

Gardaí to be granted new powers to tackle quad bike menace

South Dublin County Council, along with gardai, council officials, and members of  Motor Cycling Ireland launched a public awareness campaign last year.

GARDAI will be granted powers to seize and destroy quad bikes used in an anti-social manner under new legislation introduced to Dáil Éireann last week.

Fianna Fáil’s Dublin Spokesperson, John Lahart, and the party's spokesperson on Drugs Strategy and Urban Affairs, John Curran, introduced the Bill that is aimed at regulating the illegal use of scramblers, quad bikes and other mechanically propelled vehicles in public areas.

Deputy Lahart said the dangerous and illegal use of these bikes is a widespread problem across Dublin and in other parts of the country.

“As they have grown in trend among young people, the fear and havoc scramblers inflict on residential communities has reached crisis point in many areas. 

“Existing road traffic legislation does not apply to green spaces, housing estates or public parks, which are the very places where these vehicles are most commonly used and causing hassle.

“Even when gardaí do receive complaints, the users of these vehicles simply speed off-road to prevent them from taking any action.”

Deputy Curran added:

“There have already been a number of very serious collisions involving quads and scramblers in public space in Dublin causing life-changing injuries.

“There have been a number of efforts to introduce legislation in this area, but none to date have tackled the core issues. In Fianna Fáil we hope to change that before anyone else is killed by this activity.”

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.

In December of last year South Dublin County Council and Fingal County Council launched a joint public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers quad bikes and scramblers pose to children.

The campaign supported an initiative by the Road Safety Authority, that outlined the correct environment and care to be taken when riding these vehicles, and was shown in cinemas throughout Fingal and South Dublin.

On the Northside, which suffers similar issues, Cllr Paul McAuliffe had called for bikes driven by children that are seized by gardai not to be returned but to be crushed and put on public display instead.

Explaining some of the specific measures in the new Bill, Deputy Curran added: “The basic truth is that gardaí are restricted under current legislation and can neither seize nor effectively police the use of these vehicles.

“Under our Bill, riding a quad or scrambler bike in an anti-social and dangerous manner will be an offence under Ireland’s public order legislation for the first time.

“Some 75 per cent of those people who were killed by a scrambler or quad bike between 2014 and 2017 were children.

“In many cases these vehicles are purchased by someone else. We want heavy penalties for those purchasing vehicles for a young person.”

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