SCRAMBLER motorbikes being driven dangerously on Sarsfield Bridge, William Street and in the People’s Park had led to a call for them to be banned from housing estates and public spaces in Limerick City.
In a statement issued to the Limerick Post, local Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan said it wasn’t acceptable for Gardaí to say they are unable to tackle the problem because they could enforce the law that requires scramblers to be fully insured and taxed.
He added that scramblers were a menace in many local communities, posing a danger to the public and causing damage to property and local amenities.
“It is only a matter of time before people are killed or injured by these often reckless drivers,” he declared.
“Today alone I got separate calls about dangerous driving of scramblers on Sarsfield Bridge, William Street and in the People’s Park. This is utterly unacceptable.
“In all these incidents people were worried that they could have been injured or worse. One woman told me her car was nearly hit on Sarsfield Bridge.
“Like most people in Limerick, I have seen scramblers driving dangerously and, in many cases, doing “wheelies” on main roads. I saw this recently on both the High Road in Thomondgate and on John Street. The noise is deafening and it is reckless beyond belief.
“In many communities and estates across Limerick, quads, dirt bikes and scramblers are driven on public areas and parks, causing problems for local people, constant noise and a danger to children, and resulting in intimidation for some residents.
“Many elderly people are living in fear in their own communities, as they don’t want to venture outside when these people are on scramblers. It is a growing problem and these scrambler bikes are everywhere.
“I have spoken to a number of people who are now working from home and the noise from scramblers is making their job nearly impossible.
“Many of these bikes are powerful, and incredibly dangerous. If action isn’t taken, it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed by a reckless driver of a scrambler here in Limerick. The problem is out of control and they need to be banned from public spaces.
“Local Gardaí have told me they have been instructed not to pursue scrambler bikes into or in estates.
“While Gardaí are limited in how they can tackle this problem, it’s not true to say they can’t do anything. This problem simply can’t be ignored any longer. The law as it stands prohibits the use of these scramblers on public roads unless fully insured and taxed. Clearly this is not being enforced. That is unacceptable.
“There are good lads who have scramblers and really take care of them. They can give people a good outlet, but it is important that we take on the people who have wrecked local communities, football pitches, green areas and are now regularly driving through the City centre.
“This issue needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. An Garda Síochána in conjunction with Limerick Council need to come up with a plan as a matter of urgency. People need to see action on this issue. They feel abandoned and this situation cannot be allowed to continue,” Deputy Quinlivan concluded.