Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C

Gardaí to be given powers to seize scramblers and quad bikes on the spot

The HSE found that 62 people were injured last year in accidents involving off-road vehicles like scrambler bikes.

LAST UPDATE | Feb 16th 2021, 2:15 PM

GARDÁI ARE TO be given powers to seize scramblers and quad bikes on the spot if they breach new laws aimed at clamping down on anti-social use of the vehicles.

Proposals which went to Cabinet today will also seek to allow gardaí to enter private properties with a warrant to remove the vehicles for the first time.

The legislation put forward also aims to introduce specific measures which would prohibit the use of bikes on public or private land without permission from the landowner.

Transport Minister Eamonn Ryan said he was “determined” to stop the misuse of quad bikes and scramblers by making it an offence to use them in areas which were not covered by current road traffic legislation. 

Statistics released by the HSE showed that 62 people were injured last year in accidents involving off-road vehicles like scrambler bikes. 

In the period between 2014 and 2019, three of the six people who died in Ireland  as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under, according to statistics from the Road Safety Authority.

Up until now, the use of scramblers and quads on certain lands wasn’t covered by road traffic legislation. Amendments to the upcoming Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill are to be made shortly that will regulate their use for the first time. 

The use of such vehicles hit the headlines when an Armenian man, Ilabek Avetian, suffered devastating injuries after being struck by a scrambler while sunbathing with his wife in a park in Darndale on Dublin’s northside.

Avetian lost an eye and suffered brain injuries as a result of the crash.

At the time, better law enforcement – rather than the roll-out of new legislation – was put forward by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar as a potential solution to the anti-social use of the vehicles. However, a number of Fianna Fáil TDs and opposition politicians called for more to be done. 

While mechanically-propelled vehicles are already regulated in public places under the Road Traffic Act, the new measures will cover other plots of land including other designated parks, green spaces, and waste ground. 

It is understood that the change in legislation will not affect farmland where consent is given for the use of the vehicle.

Other avenues of regulation and enforcement are also being developed through an inter-departmental working group chaired by the Department of Justice. 

St Patrick’s Day 

Ministers also heard a memo brought by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin on how the government plans to support this year’s St Patrick’s Festival. 

Martin has committed up to €1 million in programme funding from her Department, an addition to the €400,000 in business continuity funding through Fáilte Ireland for events.

The minister is understood to want the festival platform to provide much needed employment opportunities for creators and performers who would traditionally have found much work around St Patrick’s Day.

While the full details of the festival will be announced tomorrow, it will include a dedicated TV channel for the “St Patrick’s Festival Online TV”.

Funding will go towards the festival and related activities, with a special dedicated online channel this year.

“A hybrid approach” involving a mix of outdoor, broadcast, digital and tech events and activities, for all ages and communities, will be the model for the festival.

A special RTE St Patrick’s Day broadcast will also be on air, as well as virtual parade, due to this year’s parade being cancelled.

Contains reporting by Stephen McDermott.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel