COUNCILREPORT Quad bikes are lo­cal ‘scourge’

Fingal Independent - - NEWS -

A Swords coun­cil­lor has called for the coun­cil to li­aise with Gar­dai to un­der­take a seiz­ing of Quad bikes in the Fin­gal area, fol­low­ing what he said were sim­i­lar op­er­a­tions un­der­taken in Fin­glas and Bal­ly­mun.

The mo­tion fol­lows anti-so­cial ac­tiv­ity in the Fin­gal area of youths driv­ing off-road ve­hi­cles dan­ger­ously in pub­lic parks and on pub­lic roads.

Cllr Dun­can Smith (Lab), pro­posed the motin and said: ‘The il­licit use of quad bikes and scram­blers is a scourge all over Fin­gal.

‘I’m sure ev­ery­one in this cham­ber has dealt with it through rep­re­sen­ta­tions over the past few years.

‘We find our­selves in an in­cred­i­ble sit­u­a­tion whereby our own staff are un­able to act when these quad bikes or scram­blers are be­ing used in­side our own pub­lic parks.

‘The guards have been told that it’s too dan­ger­ous for their own per­son­nel to chase af­ter scram­blers driv­ing dan­ger­ously around pub­lic roads, so some­thing needs to be done.’

The coun­cil­lor said that if a car was driv­ing dan­ger­ously, the driver would be ar­rested, and that ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity knows some­one driv­ing a scram­bler bike in a ‘dan­ger­ous fash­ion’, in parks and on pub­lic roads. De­spite this, he said, ‘noth­ing seems to hap­pen.’

Cllr Smith said there’s ‘a role for all of us here’, and that he placed the mo­tion at a time when the guards in Fin­glas and Bal­ly­mun had some ‘high-pro­file’ seiz­ing of these ve­hi­cles. He said that Fin­gal needed some­thing sim­i­lar ‘to give the pub­lic con­fi­dence that we are tack­ling them.’

He said: ‘We’ve seen the hor­rific in­juries that hap­pened to Ilabek Ave­tian in Darn­dale ear­lier this year, and of course the tragedies that have taken place in re­cent years, so it’s just a mat­ter of time be­fore some­thing of that na­ture hap­pens up in Fin­gal.’

Re­spond­ing to Cllr Smith’s pro­posal, Cllr Jimmy Guerin (NP) said it was ‘very worth­while’, but that he be­lieved the re­al­ity was that, even if leg­is­la­tion were brought through, the guards would not have the re­sources to en­force it.’

In re­sponse to the mo­tion, the coun­cil said it is ‘work­ing with the Gar­dai, all the other Lo­cal Au­thor­i­ties in the Greater Dublin area, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and other stake­hold­ers to look at strength­en­ing the law in re­la­tion to the regis­tra­tion of scram­bler and quad bikes’. ’

Cllr Smith’s mo­tion was ul­ti­mately passed by his fel­low coun­cil­lors.

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