80. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality further to parliamentary question number 102 of 8 November 2016, the status of the promised joint RSA and Garda public awareness campaign to discourage the purchase of quad bikes and scramblers as gifts; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40707/16]
Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): I understand that An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority issued a press statement this morning warning of the dangers from mini-motorised vehicles.
The statement advises parents that mini motorised vehicles are legally termed ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ (MPVs) and are governed by the Road Traffic Act 2004 which makes it an offence to supply a mechanically propelled vehicle to a person under 16 years of age for use in a public place. A person is liable to a fine of up to €3,000 or 6 months in prison, or both for selling or supplying a ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ to a minor. Mini-motorised motorcycles and quad bikes also come within this definition.
I am advised by the Garda authorities that these vehicles, when used in a public place, must comply with the Road Traffic Acts, including in relation to motor tax, insurance and possession of a valid driver licence or learner permit. Under the Road Traffic Acts, any member of An Garda Síochána may stop a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place and demand production of a driver licence or learner permit. In addition, Gardaí may inspect the vehicle for compliance with vehicle standards legislation, which makes it an offence to drive without reasonable consideration, drive carelessly, or drive dangerously. The Garda authorities also have powers of seizure, detention, storage and disposal of vehicles under road traffic legislation.
I also understand that the use of quad bikes and scramblers in public parks and open spaces may be prohibited under local authority bye-laws.
The joint statement highlights that tragically mishaps on these vehicles have resulted in the deaths of children in the UK and Ireland over recent years. I strongly support this campaign and reiterate that road safety is a shared responsibility. As with the 2016 Christmas & New Year Anti Drink Driving Campaign it is necessary to stop and consider the impact of our decisions on others and it is my sincerest hope that this campaign will help achieve this.