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Government to oppose quad bike and scrambler regulation Bill

The government said it has established its own working group to assess the issue.

Image: Shutterstock/Dean Clarke

THE GOVERNMENT IS to oppose a private members’ Bill which seeks to tighten regulations around the use of quads and scramblers. 

The Sinn Féin Bill seeks to give gardaí the power to seize and detain quad bikes and scrambler motorcycles when being used unlawfully.

The Road Traffic (Quads and Scramblers) Amendment Bill is currently at Second Stage, and will be discussed in the Dáil tomorrow. 

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

The use of such vehicles has been under the spotlight recently due to an Armenian man, Ilabek Avetian, suffering devastating injuries in September after being struck by a scrambler while sunbathing with his wife in a park in Darndale on the city’s northside.

Avetian lost an eye and suffered brain injuries as a result of the crash, with the public coming together to raise €30,000 for him and his wife once his story came to light.

The figure of 62 for 2017 is actually less than the 71 people injured in 2016 by scramblers and quad bikes, but a deal greater than the 56 people hurt in 2015. 

The reason for opposing the proposed new Bill is the government believes an amendment to the Road Traffic Bill to deal with the issue is “not appropriate”. 

A government spokesperson said a cross-agency working group has already been set up by the Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to deliver a “multi-pronged” response the problem of young people using the vehicles.

Last year the minister said he had written to a number of state agencies, including the gardaí, to seek advice as to whether legislation is needed to tackle the use scrambler and quad bikes in public.

It is understood the Attorney General has also been consulted on the matter, and whether the issue should be dealt with under public order offences legislation relating to vehicle misuse off public roads.

Flanagan said has previously said he is “very concerned” about the “serious public safety and anti-social issues” surrounding the misuse of the bikes.

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