A Social Democrat Councillor for Limerick city has said the Government needs to build motorcycle tracks for people to use scrambler bikes in order to reduce anti-social behaviour.
lisa O’Donovan made the plea after gardaí launched a new operation in the city aimed at tackling the misuse of scramblers.
“I think we need dedicated cycle tracks in the city for people to go and to safely use these scrambler bikes and to do something they love,” she told Newstalk Breakfast.
The development comes after €200,000 was to be made available back in 2021 for eight initiatives to build tracks in Dublin and Limerick, whilst also providing training in basic bike skills, maintenance and safety.
The aim of the project was to teach young people how to safely use a bike on a track, with the required protection, “and to get their buzz and adrenaline rush that way.”
Cllr O’Donovan highlighted how youngsters are using the wrong locations to practice their hobby.
“If you enjoy something, you like being part of a club; you like going somewhere with other people who enjoy it.
“We need these spaces. We only have them in one area. People are using the city centre as their scrambling track and it is not appropriate,” she said.
The politician also stressed how dangerous the situation is becoming in a built up, urban environment.
“There will be a serious accident in the city before long. They are a huge safety concern because I guess they are designed to go at a great speed.
“I have seen incidences in the People’s Park here in Limerick where they are going at a very, very high speed and people just have to get out of their way.
“I am very concerned that we are going to see accidents. Often the people riding these bikes are very, very young people and they are not wearing safety equipment like helmets and things like that.
“I am very concerned for the safety of the drivers and what might happen there but also, when you are going at speed towards people, there is going to be a risk of a serious injury I think with scrambler bikes and what we are seeing at the moment,” Cllr O’Donovan said.
Another issue is how silent the more modern scramblers are, given that they do not use petrol.
“Many of them are now electric and they are actually very, very difficult to hear when they are going towards people.
“We are seeing them more and more in our beautiful People’s Park here in Limerick city along the canal bank and in very, very residential areas.
“It is of great concern to me and to a lot of people living in the city,” Cllr O’Donovan added.