Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Dublin, John Lahart TD and Spokesperson on Drugs Strategy and Urban Affairs, John Curran TD have introduced the party’s Bill in Dáil Éireann this afternoon. The Bill is aimed at regulating the illegal use of Scramblers, Quad Bikes and other mechanically propelled vehicles in public areas.
Commenting following its introduction, Deputy Lahart commented, “The dangerous and illegal use of these bikes is a widespread problem across Dublin and 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 Gardaí from taking any action.
“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”
Explaining some of the specific measures from the Bill, Deputy John Curran commented, “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 antisocial and dangerous manner will be an offence under Ireland’s public order legislation for the first time. In addition, we will deal with the fact that these vehicles are not owner registered by introducing a National Vehicle Register.
“75% of people that were killed by a scrambler or quad bike between 2014 and 2017 were children and the fact is that in very many cases these vehicles are purchased by someone else and gifted to an underage child. We are looking to include a heavy penalty for those purchasing vehicles for a young person who uses them recklessly. Our bill makes provision for increasing the maximum fine to €5,000 and to subsequently allow Gardaí to seize and destroy a vehicle that has been supplied under these conditions.
“It is hard for people who do not live in areas afflicted by this problem to understand the disruption these vehicles cause and the effect they have on people’s quality of life. Fianna Fáil is determined to put an end to the scourge they represent and this Bill is a critically important part of that effort. I would ask colleagues from across all parties to join us in this effort and support our Bill,” he concluded.