Words: Snr Constable Jo Arthur
Trail bike riding in our many local forestries has always been popular and now that some COVID restrictions have been lifted, forestry workers have seen a very big increase in riders.
Members of the public can enter a state forest and use open public roads, however there are rules that apply. Police have recently seen community members disregard those rules.
Forestries are also peoples workplaces and fences/signage are regularly put in place during harvesting to prevent people from entering these dangerous areas. This is to keep you safe, not to inconvenience you.
Police have seen signs and fences being pulled down/damaged and forestry workers have been threatened by riders when told to leave the area. These actions have forced police to take a tough stance and so over the coming weeks, you can expect to see an increased police presence in these areas.
Below is some information to assist you in what you can and cannot do in a forestry in regard to trail bike riding.
Can I ride my trail bike in the forestry?
Yes, if you are licensed to ride a motorbike, your bike is registered and you use a road that is not closed to traffic. The same laws regarding licensing, registration, insurance, road worthiness of vehicles, safety, etc. apply when you are riding your bike in the forestry.
Where can I ride?
Where ever there is public access and the area is not fenced or closed due to work and maintenance being carried out.
Are there different road rules for riding in the forestry?
No, the road rules are the same as driving on a bitumen roadway, this includes drink and drug driving, speeding and dangerous driving.
Can my children ride their bikes in the forestry?
No, they must be licensed. The person permitting the unlicensed riding or persons supervising can face offences and fines themselves.
What if I am riding in an area that the public should not be in?
Being in these area is an offence and you may face a fine.
Are there places that I can ride other than the forestry?
Yes, there are privately owned places you and your kids can go to. Find them on the internet or social media. Threatening behaviour towards those who manage these areas, or forestry rangers who are able to take enforcement action will not be tolerated and this behaviour may result in an criminal investigation as will damaging fencing and signs.
Don’t risk your life, the lives of your children or others. Ride safe where it is lawful to do so.