By Joleen Murphy
Maintenance and safety lessons will be offered to teenagers to address the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes.
The Department of Justice says a similar programme set up by youth workers in Moyross in Limerick was a success.
It’s now offering grants as part of the Garda Youth Diversion Programme, with stronger enforcement powers on the way.
Junior Justice Minister, Wexford TD James Browne, says there’s no reason an interest in motorbikes can’t become a positive thing.
“If you you terrorise your local community, enforcement is going to get a lot stronger with the proposal to strengthen the road traffic laws.
“Where there are gaps in the in the legislation at the moment thata the Gardaí are finding it difficult to apply enforcement
“Well that law is going to change as well so the Gardaí can in fact seize these bikes where they are being used illegally and even get search warrants to search peoples homes.
“But where young people have a genuine interest, lets take that oppurtunity.”
Officials aim to launch the programmes at the same time as changes to traffic law aimed at taking dirt bikes off the streets.
James Browne says it has a chance to have a positive impact.
“Some young people who are using these scramblers are genuinely interested in motor bikes and this is really the only way to express this interest.
“But unfortunately in doing so, they are causing an awful lot of upset and distress.
“What we are doing here for these young people who have a genuine interest in bikes is trying to provide opportunities to use these bikes in a safe manner but also learn about them and learn how to use them safely, learn how to handle them, learn how to repair them.”
Photo credit: flickr/Mike Turner