Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran has said that it is time for substantial legislative action to be taken to curb the illegal use of all-terrain vehicles including Scramblers and Quad Bikes in urban areas across the country.
The Deputy has requested that the matter be debated in Dáil Éireann this week after a man was left seriously injured on Saturday following an incident involving a scrambler bike in Darndale, North Dublin.
“This latest incident is sadly just one of many that have occurred in recent times,” Deputy Curran said.
“Despite existing by-laws in place that prohibit the illegal use of mechanically propelled vehicles, the Gardaí have some difficulty enforcing these laws.
“Members of An Garda Síochana policing on the ground say their hands are tied in pursuing those that use quads and scramblers because of the degree of danger that a chase would involve, often in residential areas and public space.
“I have repeatedly brought this issue to the attention of both the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Transport over the past two years, hoping for legislative change.
“Fianna Fáil is the only party to have a Bill on the Order Paper to address this and it will be moved to be debated at second stage in the Oireachtas over the coming weeks.
“Changes are absolutely required to enable Gardaí to seize scramblers and quads based on intelligence rather than having to pursue them when they are being driven recklessly.
“In my own community, residents have expressed serious concerns for their safety in light of the rise in number of these vehicles being driven by young people and unsupervised.
“Earlier this year, local parents expressed their worry about their children walking to school and that quads and scramblers have been driven dangerously close to footpaths in an attempt to frighten pedestrians.
“A special cross-agency meeting was held in April in an attempt to respond to the worsening problem but almost two months on there has been no real action since. It’s clear now that the time for meetings and focus groups has passed.
“The prevalence of incidents involving all terrain vehicles causing injury or even fatality will only continue to increase if decisive action is not immediately taken.
“As far as I am concerned the only meaningful solution would be to adopt a co-ordinate approach between Gardaí, the local authority and the wider community to clamp down on the improper use of scramblers and quads and the anti-social behaviour linked to it.
“We need to act now before more lives are adversely impacted,” concluded Deputy Curran.