Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has said that he wants to see an end to scramblers and quads being driven on our roads and in our parks and in a way that destroys pitches and green spaces without any level of training, supervision or respect for one’s neighbours.
Speaking last night on a Sinn Féin motion calling on the Government to empower Gardaí to protect our public spaces from the misuse of scramblers and quads, Teachta Crowe said:
“The misuse of scrambler and quad bikes presents a great danger to people in many of our communities when they are used by children or adults without any level of training, supervision or respect for one’s neighbours.
“I have talked to the Garda about how I have witnessed incidents where scramblers have been used on main roads and in green spaces. There is any amount of video evidence of such activity. Other speakers have talked about how these vehicles are being used by drug dealers. I know that is true because I witness it every day. Again, it is certain communities that are being impacted by this activity. There is clear evidence that the bikes are being used to transport drugs and I would like to see the Garda being much more proactive in tackling it.
“I have seen at first hand the damage that has been done to our green spaces and playing pitches by quad and scrambler bikes. It is soul-destroying for people to take their children to play a game only to find that the pitch is destroyed.
“We do not want to take away anyone’s fun. These vehicles are used legitimately across the State for a variety of purposes, including on farms and in forestry. However, they are not toys and they are not suitable for use in public places where pedestrians are present.
“I would urge parents to consider just where and how these bikes would be used in their areas before going out and buying them as Christmas presents.
“There are clearly problems with their use and I want to see the Garda authorities being more proactive, with additional powers given to seize and detain these vehicles. I am told that the people driving them cannot be stopped primarily for health and safety reasons but I see them going around without helmets, easily identifiable and with no regard for their own safety or that of anyone else.
“Walking through a park, you may find one of these vehicles being driven right alongside you on the walkway. Our parks should be inclusive spaces, not places where people are excluded because of the reckless and dangerous activities of a small group. That is the reality of what is happening in many of our communities. Only a small minority of people are causing problems and it needs to stop.
“I want to see an end to these vehicles being driven on our roads and in our parks and in a way that destroys pitches and green spaces and primarily I want it stopped because it puts everyone in real danger.”