New measures giving Gardaí additional powers to seize scramblers and quad bikes engaged in anti-social behaviour will make communities safer for everyone, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Dublin Mid West Deputy Emer Higgins was speaking after Cabinet this week agreed a package of measures from the Department of Transport and the Department of Justice to deal with the misuse of quads and scramblers. Deputy Higgins said:
“The use of scrambler bikes in anti-social behaviour and organised crime presents a real challenge to law and order. It is totally unacceptable that certain public spaces have become ‘no-go areas’ because of illegally driven scrambler bikes.
“I am really pleased that the Government has tackled this issue head-on by giving Gardaí extra powers to deal with scramblers and quads by actually seizing them.
“The new legislation will prohibit mechanically propelled vehicles (MPVs) on public land like our local parks, and also on private land – unless there is explicit permission from the landowner.
“The Gardai will be given the power to detain a vehicle used in violation of the new prohibition. They will also be allowed, on a warrant, to enter private premises and remove a vehicle suspected of having been used contrary to the new ban.
“This will enable the Gardaí to detain vehicles in circumstances where they were not able to detain it at the time of the offence.
“I am pleased that the Government has also agreed to explore further what additional measures might further address the problem. We know from road safety that education is also vital and the Department of Justice currently working on proposals for community-based projects that could be rolled out in areas most affected by anti-social use of scramblers and quads.”
Deputy Higgins’ constituency colleague, Clondalkin councillor Kenneth Egan, who has been campaigning for action on scramblers and quad bikes for a number of years, also welcomed the legislation. Cllr Egan said,
“The sounds of scrambler bikes on our streets and in our parks has become all too familiar. A lot of people on these bikes are causing intimidation and engaging in anti-social behaviour.
“This is really welcome progress and I’m very pleased that an issue I have been campaigning on locally has gotten national attention. This new law will deliver action on scramblers and help make communities safer places.”