Home > Dail Eireann debate. Criminal Justice (Public Order) (Quadbikes and Scramblers) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage [Private Members].

Dail Eireann debate. Criminal Justice (Public Order) (Quadbikes and Scramblers) (Amendment) Bill 2021: Second Stage [Private Members]. (23 Sep 2021)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...

...Deputy Seán Crowe - I come to this debate very frustrated but hopeful the issue can be progressed. I look forward to the rest of the debate, and no doubt I will hear stories from various Deputies. The misuse of quads and scrambler bikes in our public spaces is a problem stretching back years, as we heard from the previous speaker. From the dangers posed to both untrained users and pedestrians to the scars left on our parks and playing pitches, the difficulties presented by these noisy death traps are immense. 

Over the years, I, like others, have been contacted by local elderly residents and young families who are almost afraid to step foot outside their door in case they are knocked down by scramblers tearing by their front gate. Without helmets, safety gear or training, the riders of these machines are a menace and a threat. I have lost track of the number of times I have seen a previously perfect playing pitch or a patch of grassland in a park torn up and left looking as though it has been ploughed up, due to the wanton vandalism of these scramblers and bikes. Our parks and green areas should be inclusive spaces, but in many cases they are not. 

There is also clear evidence these bikes are being used by some to transport drugs within our communities. I would like the Garda to be empowered to be more proactive in tackling that through seizures, but that is part of the difficulty we have faced in the past. I recall raising the issue years ago with the local superintendent, who talked about gardaí being trained and upskilled and so on. There was a different approach in one part of Dublin city, where there was a representative from that area, but in our area we did not take a proactive approach, although action was taken by the Garda. Children are being drafted as drug couriers because while the Garda can stop a car, the law is much murkier in regard to stopping a scrambler, and that is just the type of problem we need to fix. 

As I was preparing for the debate, I came across a contribution of mine to the Misuse of Motor Vehicles (Public Spaces) Bill, which my colleague Deputy Ellis had introduced. I spoke in this Chamber on that Bill in March 2014. That is how long Sinn Féin has been trying to get this matter sorted. We have for seven years been trying to get the Government of the day to take this seriously. Part of the problem related to the fact the Ministers of the day did not have the necessary experience or did not realise it was a problem. I think there is a difference between rural and urban areas in respect of this matter but it is not just a Dublin, Limerick or Cork problem. It is a problem growing throughout the State... 

[For the full debate, click this link to the Oireachtas website]

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Intervention Type
Crime prevention
23 September 2021

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