The Green Party TDs have received an extremely disappointing reply from the Minister for Justice to a question I asked them to put to him about possible legislation to deal with dangerous scrambler bikes.
Last year, following a horrendous case in which a man was critically injured by a scrambler in Darndale, the Minister convened a ‘cross-agency group’ to advise how to address this issue. It met a couple of times, and sought input from the Attorney General. Now, in a reply to a Dail question from the Green Party, the Minister has confirmed that the ‘cross-agency group’ has recommended no legislative change. They’ve literally taken a year to decide to do nothing.
This is a shocking abdication of responsibility by the Minister and his Department. Whenever I speak to either Community Gardai or to Council officials or are dealing with this on the ground, they state that they currently don’t have the power to properly solve the problem. Scrambler bikes don’t need to be registered, and there are restrictions on the Gardai’s ability to seize them from private property.
Whoever is on this cross-agency group, they clearly are completely cut off from the reality of what is happening in urban communities around Dublin. The Minister needs to spare us the platitudes about the dangers of driving these bikes and actually act. Legislation requiring the registration of scramblers, and increased powers for the Gardai to seize them if they are driven dangerously, would be a start.
Young teenagers driving scramblers dangerously is a growing issue in communities across Dublin 15 and along the Royal Canal. Already, one person has suffered life-changing injuries as a result of these activities. The Minister has to stop hiding behind committee reports and actually act.