Quad bill eyes national register in bid for crime clampdown

A bill which is currently being passed on the regulation of quad bikes seeks to aid in the clamp-down of theft and quad crime, according to Fianna Fáil.

The Road Traffic (All Terrain Vehicle and Scrambler Motor-cycle) (Amendment) Bill 2019, proposed by Fianna Fáil last week, passed through the Oireachtas at second stage and will now progress to pre-legislative scrutiny at committee stage.

It incorporates a number of proposals largely aimed at the “antisocial use” of quads, as well as scrambler bikes.

These include:
  • Giving more power to An Garda Síochána, including the power to seize and destroy illegally driven scrambler and quad bikes;
  • Make anti-social and dangerous scrambler bike use an offence under the Public Order Act;
  • Enable Gardaí to confiscate illegally driven scrambler and quad bikes directly from the curtilage (e.g. gardens) of owners;
  • Fine those, up to a max of €5,000, who sell or supply scrambler and quad bikes to underage persons; and
  • Establish a national register of all scrambler and quad bikes.

The bill was introduced by deputies John Lahart and John Curran.

‘Will not affect farmers’

The party’s MEP candidate for Midlands-North West, Brendan Smith, commented on the bill, noting:

“The main purpose of the Fianna Fáil bill is to clamp down on the now all-too-common practice of quad bikes and scramblers, which are designed for off-road use, being driven in a dangerous and antisocial manner in public spaces, such as housing estates and public parks. This will not affect farmers at all.

“In terms of the national register, we intend that registration would be a very simple process.

“The bill requires quad bikes to be registered with a national database that links the vehicle to its owner. This may also help to crack down on the theft and resale of these vehicles in urban and rural areas.

“This measure works together with another Fianna Fáil bill which sets out minimum safety standards for quads.

We hope that this legislation will help to improve safety on these vehicles. Between 2014 and 2017, 39 people died in quad-related accidents.

“This is a shocking statistic which requires urgent action, and all measures need to be taken to improve this safety record – our bill has the potential to do that,” concluded deputy Smith.