Government must back Bill to allow Gardaí tackle scrambler and quad bike misuse – Denise Mitchell TD
Sinn Féin Dublin Bay North TD Denise Mitchell has criticised the Government for its failure to voice support for a Bill which would give the Gardaí extra powers to deal with the misuse of quad bikes and scramblers in parks and public spaces.
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Mitchell said:
“It is totally unfair on residents who are being kept up at all hours of the night by these vehicles tearing through their estates, and on GAA and football teams who show up to play matches only to find their pitches torn-up by these vehicles.
“62 people were injured in incidents involving scramblers last year, including one man who was very seriously injured in Darndale.
“It is incredibly difficult for the Gardaí to intervene or pursue people misusing these vehicles without making the situation even more dangerous.
“So with that being the case, the focus needs to be on ensuring the Gardaí have adequate powers.
“That means Gardaí must have the power to seize these vehicles. It also means addressing the grey area in terms of the legality of the use of these vehicles in local authority parks which are subject to local by-laws. That is what this Bill is about.”
Deputy Mitchell, who is Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, also called on parents not to purchase quad bikes and scramblers for children:
“Parents who are buying these vehicles for children who are under the age of 16 are breaking the law.
“These parents need to have a bit of cop on, and realise they are not only putting their own child in danger, but they are endangering other people in the area.”
Editor’s Note: The vote on the proposed ‘Road Traffic (Quads and Scramblers) (Amendment) Bill 2017’ will take place on Thursday. Both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have indicated they will vote against the Bill.