Social Democrat co-leader Roisin Shortall TD has accused the Minister for Justice of dragging his heels in the wake of several serious incidents involving scramblers and quad bikes over the Christmas period. These incidents were entirely predictable and will continue unless we see urgent action from the Minister.

Deputy Shortall said:

“This is a serious and prevalent issue affecting many communities and the failure of the Government to take it seriously and to legislate has resulted in the Gardaí not having sufficient powers to effectively tackle this threat to public safety.”

Deputy Shortall, along with a small number of other TDs, has been consistently raising this issue in the Dáil but there has been little action from the Minister for Justice in response.

Eventually, an inter-agency group was established to consider the issue but the Attorney General concluded that new legislation was not required. However, anyone who knew anything about the problem knew that the Gardaí, at local level, were crying out for new powers to seize and confiscate these vehicles. There is also a need to have road traffic legislation extended to public parks and open spaces so that Gardaí can police the issue off-road.

The inter-agency group has been meeting infrequently and its work is moving at a snail’s pace. The widespread use of scramblers and quad bikes has resulted in a number of deaths and a large number of serious injuries in the past few years. The Minister needs to take this issue seriously, take charge of it, and prioritise the production of the necessary legislation without further delay.


28th December 2019

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