Action needed to end scramblers and save lives, says Fianna Fáil TD

Ilabek Avetian remains in a coma after being hit by a scrambler bike in Dublin in June

Ilabek Avetian (39) at  Beaumont Hospital. He suffered severe head injuries after a scrambler bike fell on him as he sunbathed in a Dublin park this summer. Photograph: Olivia Lynott

Ilabek Avetian (39) at Beaumont Hospital. He suffered severe head injuries after a scrambler bike fell on him as he sunbathed in a Dublin park this summer. Photograph: Olivia Lynott

 

Legislative action must be taken to end the illegal use of scramblers and quad bikes in urban areas across the country in order to protect people’s lives, a Fianna Fáil TD has said.

Dublin Mid-West TD John Curran has called for the introduction of “substantial legislative action” in light of the rise in use of all-terrain vehicles around Ireland.

Mr Curran’s comments followed an update on Monday on the condition of Ilabek Avetian (39) who who seriously injured in June after he was hit by a scrambler motorbike in Darndale Park, Dublin. Mr Avetian and his wife Anzhela Kotsinian were sunbathing in the park on Saturday, June 9th when the motorbike was driven over the brow of a hill and landed on the couple. Mr Avetian has been in a vegetative state in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin since the incident.

“The degree of danger that these vehicles pose cannot be underestimated, they can quite literally destroy lives,” said Mr Curran. “Despite existing local authority by-laws that prohibit the illegal use of mechanically propelled vehicles in public areas, the gardaí have little or no authority to enforce these laws. It seems that the Department of Justice are hoping to offload its responsibility to take decisive action by carrying out a review of such by-laws.

“As far as I am concerned the only meaningful solution would be to implement legislative change to clamp down on the improper use of scramblers and quads and the anti-social behaviour linked to it.”

Mr Avetian lost his left eye, suffered multiple facial fractures, including a fracture of the forehead bones after he was hit by the scrambler in June.

His nasal bones were also fractured as was his jaw bone and he suffered a severe brain injury and haemorrhage. Doctors said he had suffered “severe traumatic brain injury” causing “severe neurological deficit.”

Ms Kotsinian said the couple had come to Ireland from Lithuania to begin a new life and that her “world has fallen apart” since the incident . A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help assist the couple.

In June, gardaí said a 16-year-old boy was helping them with their inquiries. A garda spokesman said on Monday investigations into the incident were ongoing.

Earlier this year Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he was examining whether additional laws are required to further regulate the use of such vehicles.

Asked by Mr Curran to comment on the ownership and use of scrambler and quad bikes in July, Mr Flanagan said officials from his department were consulting with local authorities regarding “a number of initiatives and projects” around the misuse of scramblers and quad bikes. Department officials are currently reviewing appropriate criminal justice legislation to deal with the misuse of these bikes, he said.

The next meeting of the justice taskforce around scramblers and quad bikes is expected to take place this month.