Scrambler & Quad Bike task force must prioritise New Legislation. Local T.D. John Curran has called on the cross-agency group, set up to tackle the illegal use of scrambler and quad bikes, to prioritise new legislation that will provide Gardaí with the necessary powers to seize Quads and/or Scramblers, based on intelligence led investigations carried out by An Garda Síochána. Deputy Curran was speaking after receiving new information in recent weeks from Justice Minister, Charlie Flanagan on the matter, he said, “Communities plagued by anti-social Scrambler and Quad Bikes have been abandoned by Fine Gael. In the Minister’s reply to me he still thinks that current laws are sufficient to deal with the scourge and illegal use of scrambler and quad bikes.
“However; as it stands, local Gardaí policing our area are unable to engage in high speed chases in the housing estates or large green spaces where these bikes are being used, due to the greater concerns for public safety. “Gardaí are therefore not in the position to seize a vehicle from a person who is blatantly and illegally misusing it. “It needs to be made an absolute priority that these changes to legislation are introduced so that we can support our Gardaí to seize a Quad or Scrambler from an individual’s home. The cross-agency taskforce is currently considering the formal views from the Garda Commissioner on this matter and I am urging them to urgently prioritise legislative change so as to combat this issue. FG recently refused to support a Fianna Fáil bill aimed at addressing significant gaps in legislation regarding quad and scrambler bikes. However, the bill was passed through the Oireachtas at Second Stage despite the Government’s failure to support it. The Road Traffic (All-Terrain Vehicle and Scramble Motor-cycle) Amendment Bill 2019 will now progress to pre-legislative scrutiny at Committee Stage.
“There is no room for ambiguity – this is a crisis in anti-social behaviour and public safety. Fine Gael clearly have no concept of the problem. “People in my own area of Dublin Mid-West are exhausted from the trouble caused by scramblers and quads. They are frightened to step foot on their own doorstep. Some families have no choice but to keep their children in doors to keep them away from the potential harm or injury. “It’s about time that Fine Gael realised their responsibility to stand up for decent communities and regulate the use of these vehicles for once and for all,” he concluded.
The question was as follows; To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress made to date to tackle the illegal use of scrambler and quad bikes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. And the reply contained the below information which is the current situation; “In responding to parliamentary question 203 of 14 May 2019, I noted that legal advice received from the Office of the Attorney General indicated that, in the main, current road traffic and public order legislation appear to provide sufficient means to police this issue. This view was shared by representatives from Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and An Garda Síochána who attended the last sitting of the cross-agency group on 15 March. While it was agreed by that, in the main, road current legislative provisions appear to be sufficient, it was also agreed that the group would remain open to considering workable legislative solutions in the event that specific legislative gaps are identified by An Garda Síochána. Separately, on 5 February, my officials wrote to the Garda Commissioner to seek his formal views on the legal advice, in the hope of addressing the legislative matter in as much detail as possible. A response to the aforementioned request to the Garda Commissioner was subsequently received on 28 June. This response is now being considered by my officials, and will be discussed in detail with the relevant stakeholders within the cross-agency group.”