Mary is calling for Government to tackle the illegal use of Scrambler Bikes which costs lives and torments urban communities.
Speaking in Seanad Eireann, Senator Fitzpatrick called for Government to support and adopt The Road Traffic (All-Terrain Vehicle and Scrambler Motorcycle) (Amendment) Bill 2020 would strengthen the law through several key provisions. Paul McAuliffe TD and John Lahart TD.
- Illegally driven scrambler bikes kill and injure people and communities
- The Road Safety Authority report that more than half of all people injured and killed are under 18 years of age
- Fianna Fáil insisted that the Programme for Government would commit to tackle the problem of Illegally driven scrambler bikes in parks and other green spaces.
- Illegal use of scramblers in places like Tolka Valley Park, Royal Canal, Cabra and the North Inner City is dangerous and destroys valuable public spaces and facilities relied on by voluntary sports clubs.
- Scramblers use in anti-social behaviour; the movement of illegal drugs and organised crime present a challenge to law and order in residential communities in Dublin Central.
- There is a strong supply of scrambler bikes in Dublin. They can be purchased legally by people under 18 years of age and no registration is necessary with the purchase of any bike.
- Bikes are also stolen and brought into areas and rented among youths.
- Unfortunately, many are bought by parents as Christmas presents and no liability for their subsequent use attaches to the parent. If a bike is seized by Gardai it can be collected by parents the following day, or it goes to auction and ends up back on the street. No charges can be brought against parents if the bike is claimed back.
- The bikes are frequently used in public parks and green spaces but there are few laws in place governing their use in these areas and enforcement of current laws is very difficult due to the inherent dangers posed to other members of the public by the pursuit and detention of these bikes by Garda vehicles.
- It is imperative that government approach this issue in an inter-departmental manner and that legislation is supported by a package of measures which deal with the matter.
The Bill does three things:
- Section 2 of the Bill amends the definition of a ‘public place’ in the principal Road Traffic legislation which will allow Gardaí to enforce laws on registration and insurance as well as dangerous driving when these vehicles are used in public places such as parks and beaches, where there is currently a legal lacuna.
- Section 5 makes it an offence to ride a scrambler bike dangerously in a public place and makes confiscation of the vehicle the penalty for this offence.
- In order to ensure that the penalty of confiscation can be enforced, section 6 directs the Minister for Climate Action, Communications and Transport to make regulations providing for the seizure of scrambler bikes from the curtilage of a dwelling where a member of an Garda Siochána believes, on the balance of probabilities, that the vehicle is being used or has been used to commit an offence under this Act. Property confiscated under this Act can be disposed of rather than being available for collection even if nobody has been charged with an offence in relation to the bike.