Nine-year-old boy hospitalised after scrambler collision

A scrambler was recently seized by police in Newtownabbey as part of a crack-down on their illegal use. INNT 40-838CON
A scrambler was recently seized by police in Newtownabbey as part of a crack-down on their illegal use. INNT 40-838CON

A nine-year-old boy was taken to hospital after a collision with a scrambler in Mossley on Monday evening.

Politicians have hit-out at the use of scramblers in residential areas following the incident at Mossley Pavilion.

Cllr Stephen Ross.

Cllr Stephen Ross.

The boy’s injuries are not known at this time.

Detailing the incident, a PSNI spokesperson said: “We are appealing for witnesses following a collision between a scrambler and a juvenile at Mossley Pavilion, which occurred on Monday, October 3 at approximately 8:45pm.

“A young person was taken to hospital following this collision and an investigation is ongoing.

“If you witnessed this incident or have any information, we request that you get in touch with us on 101 quoting the reference number 1309 03/10/2016 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.”

Declan Kearney MLA.

Declan Kearney MLA.

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr John Scott hopes that the boy makes a full recovery.

Speaking to the Times, Cllr Scott said: “As far as I know the boy is still in hospital and the incident is being investigated by the council.

“I hope that he is not seriously injured and that he makes a full recovery.”

The UUP representative added: “The people who use these bikes in residential areas don’t realise the consequences. The sooner people stop using quads and scramblers in areas they’re not meant to, the better.

“The boy and his family are in my thoughts and prayers at this time.”

Condemning the use of scramblers in residential areas, Cllr Stephen Ross said: “I hope that the young boy is going to be okay.

“The parents who buy these bikes for children to use in built-up areas should be penalised.”

The DUP representative added: “Pavilions and open spaces in residential areas are for children and young people to play in. Scramblers aren’t for residential areas.”

One concerned Mossley resident contacted the Times to say there was a lot of illegal use of quads and scramblers in the area. The resident who wished to remain anonymous said: “Every week, especially at weekends, there are a lot of people riding scramblers illegally at the rear of my home. It was only a matter of time before someone was injured. I hope that the boy makes a full recovery.”

Commenting on the illegal use of quads and scramblers, a PSNI spokesperson said: “Quads, and some scramblers, do not comply with construction and use regulations and vehicle safety standards and therefore are restricted to ‘off-road’ use only.

“However, this does not mean they can be driven anywhere ‘off-road’. These vehicles should only be driven on private land where the landowner has given permission and must not be driven on pavements, roads, public property or parks; this includes green grass areas and public paths.

“The law is quite clear - any vehicle used on roads should have the appropriate equipment fitted such as lights and number plates, it should also be insured and taxed and the driver/rider must have a suitable driving licence. Vehicles driving on public ‘green spaces’ are guilty of an offence, regardless of the manner of the driving.

“In both cases the police have a power to seize the vehicle.”

This latest incident comes only hours after a motion about the laws surrounding scramblers and quads was debated at Stormont. The motion was sponsored by South Antrim MLA, Declan Kearney, following the death of Valerie Armstrong in July. She died after she was hit by a scrambler in a forest park in west Belfast.

Mr Kearney said: “This latest incident in Mossley outlines the importance of action on the issue before further injury occurs.

“Sinn Fein has discussed the issue with the PSNI and the Justice Minister to examine what more can be done to update the existing legislation.

“The use of scramblers and quads on public roads, footpaths and public spaces such as parkland is illegal. Everyone should understand the law on scramblers and quads before they are bought as gifts for children.

“Sinn Fein is calling for an effective public awareness campaign highlighting the dangers of quads and scramblers in the lead-up to Christmas.

“I extend my sympathies to the young boy who was injured in Mossley and to his family. I sincerely hope he will make a full recovery.”

Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Noreen McClelland condemned the incident. The SDLP representative said: “Our thoughts are with the young person that was injured during this incident and his family, I hope he makes a full recovery.

“Scramblers are not permitted on the pitches, it is something that council has actively been working to deter the use of in public places, especially in our parks.

“As part of our campaign to raise awareness and to deter the use of scramblers, council’s park wardens regularly patrol the local parks and this month we have featured an article in our residents’ magazine. We will continue to re-enforce this message and highlight the dangers of these bikes in our public areas with both parents and young people.”

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