Parents are being urged to not to give children quad bikes or scramblers for Christmas.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have launched a new public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers that quad bikes and scramblers pose to children.
It comes as provisional figures from the RSA show that three of the six people who died in Ireland as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under, in the period 2014 to 2019.
The RSA and An Garda Síochána have launched a new public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers quad bikes and scramblers pose to children and to urge parents not to gift them this Christmas.
Ms. Liz O’Donnell, RSA chairperson, stressed that quad bikes are not toys.
“Every Christmas, quad bikes and scramblers are given as presents, sometimes to very young children, so it’s important people are informed of the risks. These machines are not toys. They are intended to be driven by people in a supervised and controlled environment. Many people enjoy off-road biking as a fun activity, on designated tracks and trails, ensuring they are riding in a safe and appropriate environment. However, in the hands of inexperienced and often unsupervised children in public places, they are a serious danger. If you’re planning to gift a quad bike or scrambler this Christmas, please reconsider. If it’s the thought that counts, please think again,” she said.
Assistant Commissioner Paula Hillman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau, An Garda Síochána, said: “The use of scramblers and quads by children poses a serious safety hazard. These are powerful machines, which have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone. That is why they not suitable to be used by children or inexperienced riders. Parents considering buying quadbikes or scramblers for their children this Christmas, need to be aware that when used on a public road they are subject to the same rules as other mechanically propelled vehicles. They are required to be registered, taxed and in good road-worthy condition. The driver of the vehicle must hold the appropriate driving licence and be insured to drive the vehicle.
"Members of An Garda Síochána do not want to be delivering devastating news to another family this Christmas so our message is clear; children and young teenagers should not be driving these vehicles in public, or without the necessary licence, insurance, safety equipment and supervision."
An Garda Síochána have also highlighted that it is an offence for these vehicles to be used in public places such as parks and public areas.