Quad users have been issued a warning from An Garda Siochána that, when used on a public road, quads are “subject to the same rules that apply to other mechanically propelled vehicles”.

In a reminder to quad users, Gardaí based in Co. Donegal stressed: “Quads are powerful machines that have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone.

If used on a public road, they are subject to the same rules that apply to other mechanically propelled vehicles.

“They must be registered, taxed, roadworthy and they must comply with standard road regulations.

“The driver must hold the relevant driving licence and be fully insured to drive the vehicle,” the Garda warning added.

Looking at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) guidance on quad use, firstly it should be noted that quad bikes used in a public place require the driver to have a licence.

Therefore, the minimum age is 16 for light quads 350kg or less with a maximum design speed of not more than 45kph – otherwise it is 17 years of age.

Next up, tyres fitted to a vehicle being used on the road require type approval i.e. e-marked, s-marked and have a minimum 1.6mm tread depth.

If off-road tyres meet with these requirements, then they can be used on a public road. Some off-road tyres are marked ‘for off-road use only’ and may not be used on a public road, the RSA says.

While quads do not require road worthiness testing, under road traffic law the authority highlights that it is the owner and driver’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is kept in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place including footpaths.

All parts and equipment must be in good working order. Failure to do so can result in prosecution, the RSA warns.

Finally, quads can tow trailers on public roads – provided that the quad meets all the regulatory requirements for road use.

You should hold the appropriate driving licence for that vehicle combination and the loaded weight of the trailer must not exceed the quad’s towing capacity.

You should refer to the owner’s manual or contact original manufacturer for its towing capacity, the RSA says.