Police issue warning about trail and quad bike riders using public spaces

Dominic Giannini 17 June 2020 5
Trail bike rider in Melba

Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward to identify a man riding a trail bike on Melba Oval. Photo: Supplied.

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.


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5 Responses to Police issue warning about trail and quad bike riders using public spaces
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John Moulis John Moulis 8:18 am 19 Jun 20

Precious Canberrans. Outside the ACT people ride bikes on beaches and go bush bashing in 4WDs. Nobody there complains to the cops. Is this what we’ve become, a snitch society where an innocent ride on a motorbike is a crime?

    noid noid 7:35 pm 19 Jun 20

    Yeah agree to a point but when they’re ripping up the sport field and leaving large divots over a large percentage of the field it isn’t right for the kids who use them.

noid noid 12:59 pm 18 Jun 20

While I support the police this is a joke, I once reported an incident like this to the police a few years ago. I had video and a clear shot of the person doing donuts on the playing fields. The person then proceeded to abuse me in front of my kids. On taking the footage to the Tuggeranong police, taking time off work to make a statement and being prepared to go to court, the police about 4 months later said there was not enough evidence. To make matters worse they were already aware of the individual concerned. Since then my advise is don’t get involved it is not worth the effort. We constantly have motorcyclists riding up and down the walkways behind our house in Calwell but the police aren’t interested. This is another election stunt.

grim123 grim123 11:07 am 18 Jun 20

So, close down both motorbike tracks that the ACT had, and now complain that people are riding them in parks….

There is no harm being done by a couple of kids riding dirt bikes on public land.

    noid noid 1:32 pm 18 Jun 20

    Yes a track would probably help as well as a drag strip………….. don’t hold your breath.

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