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Gardaí warn parents not to gift children quad bikes and scramblers for Christmas

An Garda Síochána and the RSA have launched a new public awareness campaign.

Image: Shutterstock/Stephen Barnes

PARENTS ARE BEING asked not to buy quad bikes and scramblers for children for Christmas. 

An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have launched a new public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers quad bikes and scramblers pose to children. 

Three of six people who died in Ireland as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under between 2014 and 2019, according to provisional statistics published by the RSA today. 

The casualty figures also show that between 2014 and 2019, 60 people were injured in collisions involving a quad bike or scrambler on a public road. 

Of those killed or injured during this period, 41% of casualties were aged 18 or under. 

“The use of scramblers and quads by children poses a serious safety hazard. These are powerful machines, which have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone,” Garda Assistant Commissioner Paula Hillman said. 

“This is why they are not suitable to be used by children or inexperienced riders,” Hillman said. 

Parents considering buying quad bikes or scramblers for their children this Christmas need to be aware that when used on a public road they are subject to the same rules as other mechanically propelled vehicles. 

“They are required to be registered, taxed and in good roadworthy condition. The driver of the vehicle must hold the appropriate driving licence and be insured to drive the vehicle,” she said. 

“Members of An Garda Síochána do not want to be delivering devastating news to another family this Christmas, so our message is clear – children and young teenagers should not be driving these vehicles in public, or without the necessary licence, insurance, safety equipment and supervision.” 

Gardaí also highlighted that it is an offence for these vehicles to be used in public places such as parks and public areas. 

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RSA chairperson Liz O’Donnell said: “Every Christmas, quad bikes and scramblers are given as presents, sometimes to very young children, so it’s important people are informed of the risks. These machines are not toys. 

“They are intended to be driven by people in a supervised and controlled environment. Many people enjoy off-road biking as a fun activity, on designated tracks and trails, ensuring they are riding in a safe and appropriate environment. 

“However, in the hands of inexperienced and often unsupervised children in public places they are a serious danger. If you’re planning to gift a quad bike or scrambler this Christmas, please reconsider. If it’s the thought that counts, please think again.” 

Further information on quad bikes can be found on the RSA’s website. 

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