Thank you, Deputy Shortall, for raising this important public safety issue. The Deputy will recall that I responded to her parliamentary question on the same issue on 1 May 2018. 


I share the Deputy’s concern in relation to the misuse of scramblers and quad-bikes. The repercussions of anti-social behaviour arising from the use of these vehicles can be very serious: scrambler and quad-bike users can become injured, sometimes critically. People in close proximity to these vehicles may also become injured, at times, acutely. There is also the ever-present risk of fatality. In short, the misuse of scramblers and quad-bikes can have a devastating effect on the users of these vehicles and the wider community.


You will appreciate, Deputy, that I have no direct role in the prevention of anti-social behaviour or the enforcement of road traffic legislation, which are operational matters for the Garda Commissioner. However, the impact of anti-social behaviour associated with the use of scramblers and quad-bikes is clearly unacceptable in terms of public safety. This is why I have requested my Department to focus on this issue.


To tackle a public safety issue of this nature effectively, a multi-agency response is required. The Deputy is aware that my Department convened a cross-agency meeting on 25 April 2018. The purpose of the cross-sectoral meeting was to ascertain whether there are additional legislative or other solutions, which can assist in dealing with this the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes more comprehensively, with a view to determining responsibility and timeframes for implementation of solutions identified.


The meeting was attended by officials from the Departments of Justice and Equality; Transport, Tourism and Sport; Housing, Planning and the Environment; and Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; An Garda Síochána; the Road Safety Authority; and the Revenue Commissioners. My Department also met separately with a representative from Dublin City Council on 23 April.


The meeting took account of a range of perspectives on the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes and also considered the various experiences currently being encountered in tackling this matter. An Garda Síochána continues to work on the ground with local authorities and other public bodies in relation to implementing non-legislative enforcement solutions to deal with the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes. It is vital that this engagement continues.


The meeting concluded with an agreed set of key next steps in the context of driving tangible progress in relation to this public safety matter:





I can assure the Deputy that I am committed to actively supporting any positive actions that can be pursued in response to the serious public safety issues arising from the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes.