ACT police have reminded the public about the danger and illegality of riding trail and quad bikes in public spaces such as parks, and have asked for assistance locating two riders who drove on Melba Oval.
The footage released by ACT Policing shows a driver riding a trail bike on the oval on Saturday (13 June), accompanied by what appears to be a young child riding a quad bike without a helmet.
Police have said the incident is dangerous and reminded the public that driving trail bikes and quad bikes on public parkland, including ovals and greenbelts, is illegal and those caught flouting the law can be prosecuted.
“You look at COVID and people getting out more in the parks and reserves, going for walks and the last thing we need is someone on a trail bike whizzing through a public park,” Officer in Charge of Road Policing, Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman said.
“It is extremely dangerous .. they only have to strike a small child and people’s lives will be changed significantly.”
There have been more than 140 quad bike deaths across Australia since 2011. Rolling the quad bike is the most common cause of death, according to Safe Work Australia, with nine deaths in the year to 4 June. Children as young as four are among the fatalities.
“We have been fortunate in the ACT but across the country there are a lot of farm accidents with quad bikes … so to have a child riding on it without a helmet is just incomprehensible,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
“Parents should not need to teach their kids to watch out for vehicles when they are playing in a park or green space, which are there to be enjoyed by the entire community not to be turned into your own personal trail bike track.”
The severity of quad and trail bike accidents has led to ACT Policing conducting specialised training for officers to patrol parks and green spaces.
Police reminded Canberrans that there are legal ways to ride trail and quad bikes in the ACT, but it must be done in accordance with the law.
“You can go up to the Cotter in the forest but the vehicle has to be registered and you have to have a licence,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
“A trail bike can be ridden on public roads if it is properly registered. All other riding of trail bikes and quad bikes on public land in the ACT is prohibited.”
Police are also appealing for anyone with information about the incident on Melba Oval, which took place at around 12:20 pm on Saturday (13 June), to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 and quote the reference number 6552963.
Information can be provided anonymously.