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Call for parents not to buy Quads and Scramblers this Christmas

12 November, 2008


Sinn Fein MLA Paul Butler is appealing to parents not to buy quads and scramblers this Christmas. The destruction quads and scramblers are causing in many areas and the anti social use of these bikes will I hope make parents think twice before they buy these bikes as presents for their children. There is also the fact that over 90 people are admitted to hospital every year, many of them children, as a result of accidents involving these bikes.

Paul Butler said:

'Recently it was revealed that over £23,000 will be spent by Lisburn Council in repairs and additional fencing around the playing fields in Twinbrook to stop quads and scramblers destroying this facility. Over £3,000 worth of damage has been caused to the playing fields by people using quads and scramblers.

"The Housing Executive have also estimated that over £10,000 worth of damage has been caused to green areas managed by them in the Colin area. That's £40,000 of public money that is being spent trying to combat this problem and that is taxpayers money that could be utilised elsewhere.'

"The destruction quads and scramblers are causing in many areas and the anti social use of these bikes will I hope make parents think twice before they buy these bikes as presents for their children."

Paul Butler continued:

'There is growing public concern at the anti social use of these bikes and the damage that they are causing to open green spaces. The numbers of these bikes in use has increased considerably over the past number of years. These off road bikes are being driven with impunity up until now.

"The PSNI must also be more proactive in stopping these bikes destroying our open spaces. The PSNI must also play a central role in dealing with the anti social use of these bikes'.

'I will be raising the concerns of these off-road bikes in the Assembly. Up until now nobody seems to want to deal with this problem. It has been a case that people have turned a blind eye to the way these bikes are being driven about the place. It is now time that action was taken. We need a more effective enforcement strategy by the PSNI the NIHE and local councils to deal with the dangers posed by off-road bikes/ quads.'

Notes

Health Minister Michael McGimpsey stated in response to an Assembly question that more than 90 people have been admitted to hospitals annually in the north of Ireland over the past five years as a result of accidents involving quad bikes and other off-road vehicles.

It is believed that these vehicles are being imported into Ireland and Britain from the Far East in increasingly large numbers. The Revenue and Customs estimates a 20-fold increase in the number of Chinese imports coming into the UK, from 7,000 in 2001 to 144,000 in 2005

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