Arrest after gardaí find child, 10, driving scrambler in Cork

The man set the bike on fire when gardaí attempted to confiscate it
Arrest after gardaí find child, 10, driving scrambler in Cork

The mini-scrambler motorbike which was seized by gardaí in Cork. Picture: An Garda Síochána

A man was arrested for public order offences after gardaí found a child, aged 10, driving a mini-scrambler motorbike dangerously around a public green in Cork.

The man, who is in his 20s and from the northside of the city, was later released without charge and is due to appear before court at a later date charged in connection with the incident.

The incident occurred at around 5.30pm on Thursday when gardaí responded to complaints about “a number of youths” driving a mini-scrambler dangerously around an open green area near the Sam Allen sports complex in Fair Hill.

It is a park used frequently by local people for walks.

Gardaí arrived at the Innishannon Road entrance to the green and spotted two boys on a scrambler which was being driven erratically around the green.

It is illegal in Ireland to ride such bikes anywhere other than on private land.

The driver was later identified as being just 10-years old. Neither he, nor his passenger was wearing a helmet.

They were being observed by a man in his 20s, who is understood to be a relative of one of the boys, and who was standing nearby.

The child stopped driving the bike as gardaí approached. But when the gardaí told the man that they were going to confiscate the scrambler, he tried to set fire to it.

The gardaí intervened, prevented him from torching the bike, and arrested him for public order offences,

Gardaí seized the mini-scrambler and established that it had no insurance and no tax.

Last month, an infant was injured after an incident involving a scrambler in Ballyfermot, west Dublin.

A woman in her 20s was seated with the male infant, believed to be 18 months old, on a stationary quad bike in Cherry Orchard Park when a scrambler, which was being driven by a male in his late teens, struck the quad.

A week later, four people were injured after a scrambler bike collided with a car, again in Ballyfermot.

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have launched a new public awareness campaign to highlight the dangers quad bikes and scramblers pose to children and to urge parents not to gift them this Christmas.

Three of the six people who died in Ireland as a result of an incident involving a quad bike or scrambler were aged 18 or under, in the period 2014 to 2019.

The casualty figures also show that between 2014 and 2019, 60 people were injured in collisions involving a quadbike or scrambler on a public road.

Assistant Commissioner Paula Hillman, National Roads Policing and Community Engagement Bureau, An Garda Síochána, said: "The use of scramblers and quads by children poses a serious safety hazard. 

"These are powerful machines, which have the potential to severely or even fatally injure someone. 

"That is why they not suitable to be used by children or inexperienced riders. Parents considering buying quadbikes or scramblers for their children this Christmas, need to be aware that when used on a public road they are subject to the same rules as other mechanically propelled vehicles. 

"They are required to be registered, taxed and in good road-worthy condition. The driver of the vehicle must hold the appropriate driving licence and be insured to drive the vehicle."

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