Local Fine Gael councillor Tom Farrell raised a motion at March’s meeting of the Athlone Municipal District calling for legislation to be introduced to make roll cages compulsory for quad bikes.
Addressing the chamber, Cllr Farrell said there is currently no legislation in place to ensure manufacturers include roll cages in their quad bikes.
With the quad now being an important instrument on farms countrywide, Cllr Farrell said it is past time more safety regulations are introduced. He told his fellow councillors that there had been up to 10 fatalities from quad bike use in the last decade, but that there has been four in the last 18 months alone, showing that the problem is getting worse.
Cllr Farrell added that many people view quad bikes as toys, but that they are in fact “lethal machines”.
Cllr John Dolan (FG ) echoed his party colleague’s concerns. While acknowledging the quad as “a vital piece of kit” on farms today, he referred to them as “deadly” machines that can reach speeds of 50 to 60km per hour. He added that insurance companies should play a part in the discussion by demanding that safety bars are introduced as a matter of urgency.
It was decided that the Athlone Municipal District will write to the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment in support of Cllr Farrell’s motion.