A Sinn Féin councillor has hit out at the “dangerous use” of scrambler bikes in residential parts of Maghera.
Councillor Brian McGuigan called on parents and guardians to take control and inform young people of the risks.
His comments follow a recent increase in the dangerous use and racing of scrambler bikes, particularly within the Hawthorne residential area and in public play areas in the south Derry town.
“I have been approached by parents with small children from the Hawthorne housing development in Maghera about the misuse of these scramblers which results in speeding through the development, over footpaths and along alleyways with lack of concern for the safety for those living in the neighbourhood,” he told the Mail.
“It is a shame that we are now in this situation yet again having to highlight the dangers of the use of these motor-bikes in public spaces. We don’t need to be reminded that only a few weeks ago we learned of the recent tragic death of a young mother knocked down by a scrambler bike in the Colin area of West Belfast.
“I urge parents and guardians who buy these bikes for their children to ensure they are used responsibly - not in public spaces but in areas designed for off-road bike use.
“I welcome my party colleague Sinn Féin MLA Jennifer McCann’s recent meeting with the Justice Minister at which she requested a review of the current legislation that governs scramblers and quads. All statutory agencies need to work together to ensure that these vehicles are not used in any public places.”
He pointed out that Sinn Féin have been in contact with the PSNI regarding the problem in Maghera area and are demanding action matter before someone gets injured or killed.
“We will be ensuring that they take a more robust approach to tackling the dangerous use of these off-road bikes in our local communities,” added the representative for the Carntogher area.