Scrambler and quad bikes are posing an ‘immense danger’ to the public in parts of Cork City, a senior garda has warned.
Petrol stations are now being carefully monitored by gardaí to intercept any illegal or dangerous behaviour with these vehicles, Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said.
He discouraged parents from buying quad bikes and motor bikes for their children.
"The dangers to the youngsters themselves, but also to the general public, are immense," he said adding that the noise pollution and the general nuisance that they create "in any environment and in any area" are also problematic.
Primary legislation on this issue has not yet passed through the Oireachtas.
But stakeholders in Cork, including gardaí, the Garda youth diversion programmes, Cork City Council, and education providers, are currently involved in a cross-governmental response to the issue.
They have been working to create a project targetting the vehicles and the youths that use them.
An offender was identified in 10 of the 13 incidents. Four were adults and six were juveniles. The range of offences included no insurance, no tax, dangerous driving and no helmet.
Two adults are before the courts for road traffic offences and one investigation is ongoing. Three juveniles have received cautions from Juvenile Liason Officers (JLO) so far and more proceedings are under way, Chief Supt McPolin said.
Last year, 15 incidents involving scrambler bikes and four involving quad bikes were recorded by Cork City gardaí.
Of the 19 incidents, 14 offenders were identified. Five were adults and eight were juveniles. One incident involved an adult and a juvenile.
The offences included no tax and insurance and dangerous driving.
Four adults were prosecuted under the Road Traffic Act for road traffic offences and four juveniles received JLO cautions. Two juveniles were not suitable for JLOs so they are proceeding to court. One referral to Tusla was made.
Chief Supt McPolin provided the statistics in response to questions from Cllr Tony Fitzgerald. Cllr Mick Nugent also raised the issue at this month's Cork City Joint Policing Committee.
Chief Supt McPolin said these incidents are mostly happening in the northside of Cork city and gardaí are proactively tackling the issue.