Call for ‘off road’ use to be tackled as new quad bike legislation welcomed

Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy.
Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy.
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Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed new legislation that will see riders of quad bikes required to wear helmets.

Colr. Duffy said any law that makes the road safer for both riders of quads and scramblers and members of the public was to be welcomed.

She was speaking following the introduction of new legislation in Northern Ireland around travelling on quad bikes and other similar vehicles.

From now on, riders of four-wheel quad and all-terrain bikes are now required by law to wear a helmet when travelling on the public road network.

The Motor Cycles (Protective Headgear) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1999 which mandates the wearing of helmets for those who ride motor cycles, has been extended to those who ride motor quadricycles (quad bikes).

Those found in breach of the law can now be fined up to £500.

Colr. Duffy said: “Figures show that between 2006 and 2016, five people were killed with 71 injured while riding on a quad bike on a public road.

“The community in the greater Shantallow and Galliagh area knows only too well the dangers that quads can pose to both riders and members of the public when they are used outside of designated places established for their use.

“What we need now is to ensure that the current legislation is strengthened and a more effective enforcement strategy put in place to combat the off road use of quads.”

There have been numerous calls from local community and safety representatives over recent years for the issue of quad bikes to be tackled.

The new legislation requiring helmets to be used came into force on Friday, June 30 .

It is now available online at www.legislation.gov.uk/nisr/2017/89/introduction/made

Councillors have previously spoken about the dangers posed by children riding quad bikes and similar vehicles across estates in the region.

Local representatives have warned that the riders were endangering the lives of themselves and others in the community.

They also warned of the environmental impact of green spaces bordering estates being churned up by such vehicles, and also the noise impact on local residents.

Parents have also been warned to ensure they are aware of safety issues before purchasing such vehicles for their children.

Initiatives have been set up locally to ensure there is a safe, dedicated space for enthusiasts to ride their bikes and quads in a safe manner and away from public roads and urban areas of the city.