By Marc Morrison
An Garda Siochana have warned parents of the risks and dangers associated with buying scrambler and quad bikes for their children at Christmas time.
Three people aged 18 or under died in incidents involving scramblers or quad bikes between 2014 and 2017, according to the Road Safety Authority. Another person over the age of 18 was also killed in an incident involving the vehicles in the same period.
The data from the RSA also shows that 39 people were involved in collisions involving scramblers and quad bikes between 2014 and 2017, 16 of those people were 18 years of age or under.
Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said: “Members of An Garda Síochána do not want to be delivering devastating news to another family this Christmas so our message is clear; children and young teenagers should not be driving these vehicles in public, or without the necessary licence, insurance, safety equipment and supervision.”
In July 2019, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dail that riding scrambler and quad bikes in public areas is a “very serious and dangerous act” and that “better enforcement” is needed to tackle the issue.
Fianna Fail tabled a bill last summer that would give Gardaí the power to seize scrambler and quad bikes and destroy those which are being used in anti social behaviour or those that aren’t registered.
The bill passed second stage in the Dail but is yet to go any further.
The Fianna Fail bill would also result in fines for parents who had been found to purchase scramblers and quad bikes for children under 18 years of age.
In response to a Parliamentary Question from the Social Democrats Roisin Shortall TD, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said a cross group agency of a number of departments are working to examine the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes.