GARDÁI Given Authority To Seize Quad Bikes, Scramblers

A recent move was announced to afford GARDÁI the authority to immediately seize quad bikes and scramblers if operated in violation of new regulations intended to thwart anti-social activities related to their use.

Proposed rules were sent to Cabinet today, and the provisions would also permit GARDÁI to use warrants in order to seize vehicles from private property. Additional measures contained in the legislation would ban the use of quad bikes on certain lands unless owner permission was obtained in advance.

Eamonn Ryan, transport minister, proclaimed his determination to prevent uses of scramblers and quad bikes in a manner harmful to society, especially in areas not already subject to existing road traffic laws.

The HSE released data indicating that 62 injuries were sustained in crashes that involved off-road modes of transportation such as scramblers and quad bikes.

Between the years of 2014 and 2019, three out of every six individuals who were killed in Ireland because of a scrambler or quad bike incident were 18 years of age or under, as reported by the Road Safety Authority.

Until recently, quad and scrambler operation was not addressed in existing road traffic rules, but amendments to the newest Road Traffic Bill are anticipated to be made in order to expand regulations to include these vehicles.

The dangers posed by these vehicles recently made the news again when an Armenian man was severely injured after being hit by a scrambler as he relaxed in a park in Dublin. The man lost the use of one eye and experienced brain injuries due to the incident.

Some lawmakers initially argued that stronger enforcement of existing laws, rather than the introduction of new regulations, was the answer to dangerous operation of these vehicles, though opposition forces delcared that new legislation really was in order to stem the tide of serious accidents.

Though the Traffic Act already governs the use of mechanically-propelled modes of transportation in public areas, the newer proposals aim to address their use in a broader range of scenarios, including public green spaces, parks, and waste grounds.

As things currently stand, the new legislation would not impact farmland, provided consent to use these types of vehicles has been granted.

A Department of Justice working group is also exploring additional methods of enforcement and regulation in hopes of curtailing what has become an increasingly dangerous situation for far too many people across the country.