Meeting tackles dangers of quad bikes and scramblers

by Mark O'Brien
A cross-agency meeting was held in an attempt to tackle the misuse of scrambler and quad bikes.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has said that a number of steps will be taken to tackle the misuse of scrambler and quad bikes.

The Minister was responding to a parliamentary question from Deputy John Curran (FF).
Last week, Dublin Gazette reported that a cross-agency meeting was due to take place to tackle the problems.

Speaking ahead of that meeting Deputy Curran said that the damage caused by the improper use of the vehicles was having a detrimental effect on West Dublin.

He said: “The damage caused to both public parks and green areas in private housing estates has continued to worsen.

“Parents of young children walking to and from school have highlighted how some scrambler and quad bike users attempt to frighten and intimidate them by driving dangerously close to footpaths.”

Minister Flanagan confirmed that a cross-agency meeting took place on Wednesday, April 25.

The meeting was attended by officials from the Departments of Justice and Equality; Transport, Tourism and Sport; Housing, Planning and the Environment; and Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; An Garda Siochana; the Road Safety Authority; and the Revenue Commissioners.

He said that the purpose of the meeting was to ascertain whether there are additional legislative or other solutions, which can assist in dealing with the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes more comprehensively.

“I am advised that the meeting took account of a range of perspectives on the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes, and also considered the experiences currently being encountered in tackling this matter,” he said.

“By way of next steps, legal advice will be sought by my Department from the attorney general’s office in relation to the interpretation of various pieces of legislation identified at the meeting to determine whether any legislative amendments are necessary to assist in curbing anti-social activity insofar as scramblers and quad bikes are concerned.”

Minister Flanagan added that officials also intend to consult further with local authorities on their experience of projects that engaged positively with youths in the community.

He cited the Dunsink Horse Project and the Mulhuddart Motocross Club as two such projects.

He added: “An important element of this issue is the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes by children.

“I would emphasise that the supply of mechanically propelled vehicles to persons under 16 and 17 (depending on the vehicle) constitute offences under accordance with Section 30 of the Road Traffic Act 2004.

“In this regard, I am advised that the Road Safety Authority intends to run a safety campaign later this year with the aim of discouraging those who may consider purchasing scramblers or quad bikes as Christmas presents for minors.

“I might add that the RSA targets road safety awareness campaigns at young people throughout the school curriculum.”

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