With the festive season just passed, the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána are raising awareness of the dangers of a mini-motorbike or quad bike given to children at Christmas.
RSA chief executive, Moyagh Murdock says mni motorised vehicles are a popular present, and although they might seem like a bit of fun, they are not toys.
"They are in fact powerful machines, which have killed and seriously injured children who use them, ” he says.
While perhaps great fun, mini bikes and quad bikes pose significant dangers to young children. Medical professionals have advised the RSA that typical injuries associated with these vehicles include fractures and head injuries. Tragically mishaps on these vehicles have resulted in the deaths of children in the UK and Ireland in recent years.
In order to use a vehicle in a public place, a range of requirements must be satisfied and the vehicle must comply with vehicle standards regulations. Quads are designed for off-road use and do not conform to regulations in relation to tyres, lights, indicators, etc, and it is therefore illegal to use them on the road. Mini-motos (small motorbikes ), quads are only allowed to be used on private land and only with the permission of the landowner.
For riders to use a mini motorised vehicle in a public place, they must: Be over the age of 16; wear a helmet; hold a valid driving licence; hold third party insurance; and hold the appropriate motor tax certificate
These are required by Road Traffic Law and those found to have breached these requirements are liable to penalties enforced by An Garda Síochána.
Mini motorised vehicles are legally termed ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ (MPVs ) and are governed by the Road Traffic Act 2004 which makes it an offence to supply a mechanically propelled vehicle to a person under 16 years of age for use in a public place. A person is liable to a fine of up to €3,000 or six months in prison, or both for selling or supplying a ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ to a minor. Mini-motorised motorcycles and quadbikes also come within this definition.
Assistant commissioner Michael Finn said: "We cannot emphasise enough that these are not toys – they are powerful MPVs and in inexperienced hands or on unsuitable terrain they have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone. That is why they are unsuitable for children. The last thing anyone wants is a tragedy involving one of these motor vehicles.”
Quad Bike incidents between
Jan. 1, 2015 and Oct. 31, 2016
Dangerous Driving 12
Insurance/ General bye laws 64
No Tax / Registration 2
(Material Damage Only ) 6
(Non Serious Injury ) 3
(Serious Injury ) 5
Vehicle Impounded Detained 50
Grand Total 142