Police told ‘get tough on quad menace’ in Limavady area

(file image) MLAs accept a balance must be struck between legal and illegal use of vehicles like this.

(file image) MLAs accept a balance must be struck between legal and illegal use of vehicles like this.

Police have been urged to continue to adopt a robust approach to tackling the dangers of illegal biking activity in the Limavady area.

That was the call this week from George Robinson MLA following an Assembly debate urging the Executive to review current legislation governing scrambler and quad motorbikes.

George Robinson MLA

George Robinson MLA

Speaking at Parliament Buildings, the DUP representative said: “In my constituency in recent years, there have been incidents of death and noise pollution from scramblers and quad bikes.

“It is a problem that householders and others find disruptive and intrusive, and I realise that a balance has to be struck between illegal scrambler activity and legitimate users.

“Incidents have occurred on private land and public roads, so there is a difficulty in tracing offenders. The police play a vital role in combating the problem, so, where the problem exists, the police need to be more proactive, as they were in Limavady recently.

“It is forbidden by law to ride scrambler or quad bikes in public spaces such as playing fields or public parks, so it is essential that any problem with them is tackled immediately by the police. “

In July this year, Valerie Armstrong, a mother of three, lost her life after she was struck by a scrambler in Belfast.

The debate heard that people from across different constituencies have died as a result of “dangerous and irresponsible use” of these vehicles.

Mr Robinson said it would be ideal if the number of incidents could be reduced but for this to happen “there is a need for robust enforcement”.

He added: “To ensure that the legal framework is fit for purpose, a review into the current legislation would be helpful, possibly to identify areas where the law needs to be changed. I would support such a review because the law needs to be fit for purpose. The law also has to be enforceable. It is worth noting that, if the law is to be enforced, there must be enough police officers or other agency officials to be able to enforce the law equitably.”

Police have regularly highlighted the dangers of quad and scrambler misuse and warned of tough action against anyone caught breaking the law, which could result in a heavy fine and the seizure of vehicles.