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Question

9. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the progress being made by the cross-agency group on the illegal use of scramblers and quad bikes; the outcome of this engagement; the steps that will be taken as a result of the meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49585/18]

Answer

Deputy Charles Flanagan: I acknowledge the continued interest of the Deputy in this issue. He was the first to raise the matter and he never loses an opportunity to raise what is an important issue to him and to many other Deputies, as well as to me.
The illegal use of quad bikes and scramblers gives rise to public safety concerns affecting a significant number of local communities.
I have asked my officials to convene cross-agency consultations to ascertain whether there are additional legislative or other solutions which can assist in dealing with the misuse of these vehicles comprehensively. It is important we determine responsibility and timeframes for the implementation of solutions identified. This process began in April and involved the Departments of Justice and Equality, Transport, Tourism and Sport, Housing, Planning and Local Government and Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, as well as An Garda Síochána, the Road Safety Authority, the Revenue Commissioners and representatives of local authorities. The misuse of scramblers in public parks was a particular point of focus for these consultations.
Following this engagement, legislation was brought to the attention of the Office of the Attorney General to determine whether any legislative amendments were necessary to assist in curbing activity insofar as scramblers and quad bikes are concerned without giving rise to any unintended consequences. My Department has now received formal legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General. The advice is comprehensive in nature and is now being carefully considered by my officials, together with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in the context of its responsibility for road traffic legislation. It will be necessary to consult again with other relevant Departments and public bodies via the cross-agency forum established by my Department. A further meeting will take place this week.