Off-road bike anger rising

Recreational Trailbike Riders’ Association president Steve Pretzel believes the idea has merit.

Residents, police and council have long been plagued by problems associated with off-road trail bike riders notorious for using paths, parks, train lines and even front lawns as their playground.

A fed up Yangebup community even held a rally at Visko Park on February 28 to address the ‘terrorising actions’ of anti-social riders.

Coming to the defence of the off-road motoring community, Mr Pretzel said those wreaking havoc were a minority, adding locals should not allow the actions of the few to taint the activity itself.

But he said any problems are likely exacerbated by the lack of areas to ride.

In Perth there are six legal off-road trails (Pinjar, Gnangara, Kwinana, York, Lancelin and Karratha) servicing tens of thousands of riders.

Mr Pretzel said Kwinana’s trail did not offer much because it is not in great shape, while Henderson’s Coastal Motor Cycle Club is only good for motocross riders and not for people spending time together as a family, enjoying the outdoors.

‘The fact that there are no adequate legal options south of the river means that even responsible riders and families end up riding in areas that are illegal,’ he said.

‘Trail bike riding is a popular and growing activity and it needs to be recognised as such by local councils.

‘Once better legal riding options are in place it becomes much easier and fairer to strictly enforce the no-ride areas.’

Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Ford said Cockburn police would welcome a local trail as long as it was safe but cautioned against thinking it would be the answer to all the City’s prayers.

‘A riding area would be of some benefit but it wouldn’t address issues like the ones we have in Yangebup with people tearing across Visko Park or others where bikes are used to commit crimes,’ he said.

Cockburn councillor Steve Portelli said the answer could rest in the severity of the penalties handed out to those doing something wrong, a notion Cockburn MLA Fran Logan agreed with.

‘Locally we need access to the freight line close because it’s a highway of theft,’ Mr Logan said.

‘We need a bylaw allowing council rangers to impound bikes until a fine is paid and there needs to be amendments to the way bikes are licensed.’

***Awaiting comments from The Department of Parks and Wildlife***.