Life to get tougher for off-road riders

Off-road motorbike riders on a cycle path in Coogee.
Off-road motorbike riders on a cycle path in Coogee.

In a motion put to councillors recently, Mayor Logan Howlett called for the State Government to review legislation associated with the use of off-road vehicles, increase penalties for breaching the law and provide rangers with increased powers.

Mr Howlett also requested the City write to Brookfield Rail to fence railway reserves, which are used commonly to cut through the heart of the City.

He said a community meeting at Visko Park in February had convinced him to take a stand.

‘It was evident that the community is demanding action to have the riders of a variety of off-ride motorised vehicles stopped from creating mayhem in their community,’ he said.

‘Damage to local parks, placing community members at risk by their unlawful behaviour, noise and other activities that take place on local and main roads, railway reserve land and other localities are all causing concern and need to be addressed wherever possible by those in authority.’

In an associated report to councillors, the City’s director of governance and administration Don Green said there needed to be more in place to discourage people from doing the wrong thing.

‘Once reported, it is virtually impossible for police or rangers to intercept the offenders, either because they are no longer in the area or are operating in an accessible area,’ he said.

‘Even on the rare occasions where the offenders are identified or detained, the legislation is very lenient in its penalties (between $50 and $100).’

‘There is no capacity to seize and detain or destroy vehicles, unless they have been abandoned or the owner is not known, under the current statute.’

Mr Green suggested the WA Local Government Association be encouraged to support the City’s request as off-road trail bikes are a wide- spread problem.

Cockburn MLA Fran Logan backed having bikes registered at purchase time and increased penalties. He also backed closing access to the freight line, which he recently described as a ‘highway of theft’.