Illegal trailbike riding targeted in urban parks
Monday 30 January, 2023
Illegal trailbike riding in parks across greater Melbourne will be targeted in a new operation by Parks Victoria.
For the first time in urban parks, Parks Victoria Authorised Officers will be patrolling on trailbikes to raise awareness of the safety risk and damage posed by illegal trailbike riding on walking and management trails.
Recent years have seen a spike in reports and observations of trailbikes in Lysterfield Park and Churchill National Park. Operation OXIDE will step up patrols in these areas, as well as Bunyip State Park and Kurth Kiln Regional Park which have been impacted by illegal trailbike activities since the 2019 bushfires.
Illegal trailbike riding can be a safety risk in popular urban parks like Lysterfield, damage valuable habitat for native species, cause soil erosion impacting on waterways and sensitive vegetation and potentially impact on Aboriginal heritage (cultural) sites.
Parks Victoria will work in partnership with the Conservation Regulator and Victoria Police for safety and compliance on public land. The details of those riding unregistered or unlicenced will be shared with Victoria Police.
Patrols will continue over the coming months, targeting peak riding times during the longer summer daylight hours and weekends.
Enjoying the Victorian bush from a motorbike seat is a unique experience, but to ensure everyone enjoys their time in nature, there are some things to remember when planning to ride on public land:
- Motorbikes must be registered and riders must be licenced. Some eBikes are considered motorbikes under the law- make sure you check yours on the VicRoads website https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/safety-and-road-rules/cyclist-safety/power-assisted-bicycles
- Motorbikes must stay on formed roads or tracks where this activity is permitted. Check detail before heading out on your ride.
- Comply with signage.
- Be aware that there are other park users such as four wheel drivers, horse riders and cyclists that may also be using the approved road and track network.
- There are no legal ‘single trails’ for motorbike use on public land.
- There are penalties for riding off road or in areas where this activity is not permitted
If you witness illegal trailbike riding, please contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or Victoria Police. Any identifying information of the bike or rider is appreciated, but you should not put yourself at risk to get this information.
For more information about trailbike riding on public land, visit the Explore Outdoors webpage: https://www.exploreoutdoors.vic.gov.au/where-to-start/trail-bike-riding-in-state-forests
Quotes attributable to Chris Mercier, Manager Enforcement Operations
“The use of motorbikes in busy urban parks like Lysterfield Park is dangerous and irresponsible. We’ve been able to build up a picture of when and where these illegal activities are occurring- we could be out there at any time, evenings and weekends- offenders should expect to be caught.”
“Parks Victoria encourages people to get out and enjoy parks, but it is important for the safety and enjoyment of all park visitors and the health of the environment that you stay within the law.”
Parks Victoria Authorised Officers on trailbikes patrolling Lysterfield Park. Credit: Parks Victoria