Wednesday 20 March 2019

Quad bikes are local 'scourge'

Ken Phelan at Balbriggan/Swords Area council meeting

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.

Fingal Independent