The last number of years has seen a noticeable increase in the number of quads and scrambler bikes being used in an inappropriate manner in urban towns and cities.
The use of these bikes on public roads, parks and open spaces has been a growing issue with communities feeling threatened and unsafe.
Unless the bike has been registered, taxed, insured and brought up to the correct standard it is illegal for it to be used on the public road.
It is also illegal to use these bikes in public parks and open spaces.
The issue of the illegal use of quad and scrambler bikes was brought up at a recent Joint Policing Committee (JPC) meeting in South Dublin and they agreed that it was imperative to educate parents and riders about using these vehicles responsibly.
Chair of the JPC, Cllr Deirdre O’Donovan said:
“Scramblers and quad bikes are an issue that communities have been struggling with for a number of years.
“We need to educate parents of the dangers of their children using these bikes.
“We have had too many tragedies and parents need to be aware of the legal responsibilities especially as we approach Christmas”
An Garda Síochána, South Dublin County Council and Motorcycling Ireland are launching an awareness campaign about the correct use of quads bikes and scramblers.
This campaign is requesting parents who are considering buying these bikes as a Christmas present for their child to make sure that they are informed as to the legal requirements around these bikes and the use of them.
Parents also need to ensure their child is wearing the right protection, is trained in how to handle the bike and is responsible enough to only use it in suitable locations such as official race tracks or on private property if they have received permission from the landowner.
Stuart Edmonds, member of motocross team Metcon CCR TM has represented Ireland multiple times in motocross and has regularly been coaching children to improve their skillset and to increase their awareness of the safety requirements when riding quads and scramblers. Stuart said:
‘Riders have to know the danger of these machines and the power they put out can be lethal. “Getting the right equipment and wearing it correctly is the very first step but having a trained person teach you the skills is vitally important.’
Quad racer Leon Rogers who competes in races around Ireland echoed Stuart’s comments and also condemned the use of these bikes in housing estates and parks saying ‘these bikes are designed to be used in controlled environments, not for tearing around parks or housing estates where kids are playing. Riders need to be responsible for the safety of others around them as well as their own.’
Gary Walsh, Road Safety Officer in South Dublin County Council hoped that parents would realise the risks associated with these vehicles and that they would ensure their children got the appropriate training for using these vehicles. He said:
‘The number of collisions associated with these vehicles is very concerning.
“Irresponsible rider behaviour is prevalent across South Dublin with riders not using the right equipment or riding in the wrong environment.
“This behaviour needs to be stopped before more deaths are caused.
“These deaths are not accidents, they are caused by riders choosing to operate these vehicles irresponsibly.’