Off-road driving targeted on Warrnambool reserves
Thursday 26 November, 2020
Dangerous and damaging off-road driving is the focus of patrols in coastal reserves around Warrnambool.
Parks Victoria and Warrnambool Police are targeting the prohibited activity, which is a risk to people enjoying the reserves and to the fragile landscape.
Off-road, unregistered and unlicensed driving offences have been recently observed at Levys Point Coastal Reserve and Belfast Coastal Reserve, with several drivers receiving warnings and penalty notices. The reserves will be the focus of continued patrols to educate and deter illegal off-road drivers in cars and on trailbikes.
Warrnambool’s beaches, dune systems and coastal reserves are picturesque natural places enjoyed by locals and visitors, and home to an array of wildlife. Aboriginal cultural places exist through these areas, which have been cared for by Traditional Owners for thousands of years.
Driving and trailbike riding is permitted on roads throughout Victoria’s parks and reserves. Staying to formed roads protects these natural places from erosion, destruction of habitat and vegetation, the spread of weeds, and reduces potential risks to other park users.
Quotes attributable to Michael Smith, Area Chief Ranger–Parks Victoria:
“These beautiful coastal reserves are important natural, cultural and community places.”
“It’s very disappointing to see some people carving up the landscape and in some places removing and damaging infrastructure.”
“With thousands of kilometres of roads in Victoria’s parks that are available for legal driving and riding, there’s no excuse for going off-road and damaging the environment.”
Quotes attributable to Martin Flannery, Acting Senior Sergeant–Victoria Police, South-west District:
“The area at Levys Point is shared by beachgoers, cyclists, walkers and horse riders – if you add vehicles going off-road you get a real potential for serious injuries.”
“On public land the normal road laws apply, with drivers needing to be licensed, vehicles registered and driven safely.”
“Drivers failing these requirements may receive an infringement notice or find themselves in court.”