Victoria’s parks, forests and reserves have become more popular than ever for trail bike riding and four-wheel-driving over the last 12 months, and while there is an extensive network of roads and tracks open to the public, illegal off-road activity is in-creasing. The Conservation Regulator has issued more than 100 infringements for off-road vehicle use by trail bike riders and four-wheel-drivers since January 1. Riding and driving off-road can cause soil erosion and damage native vegetation. The ecosystems in our forests are fragile and vehicles can destroy wildlife habitat.
Authorised officers are patrolling key locations across the state, targeting illegal trail bike and four-wheel driving activity, and on the spot fines of $165 apply. The maximum fine for riding or driving on closed roads is $3300, while damaging wildlife habitat can result in a fine of more than $8000.
Most riders and drivers do the right thing by following normal road rules that apply on public land. The Conservation Regula-tor works closely with recreational groups and asks them to consider these key points:
- All vehicles including trail bikes must be registered, trail bike riders must hold a current motor bike license.
- Stay on the formed roads and vehicle tracks – do not ride on natural terrain, in streams, or on informal single tracks
- For your own safety, always ride with others and wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), including a helmet
- Always carry a first aid kit, as well as a reliable means of communication. We know that the first hour after injury is
critical to good recovery outcomes - make sure you are prepared
- Unload and start your trail bike away from residents adjoining state forests (you value your riding, they value their peace and quiet
- Keep your speed and noise down when in, or near, camping and picnic areas, or approaching other forest users
For more information on the rules and regulations please visit: www.ffm.vic.gov.au/recreational-activities/trail-bike-riding
Remember to check for up-to-date COVIDSafe information at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
Quotes attributable to Acting Director Regulatory Operations, Brian Hamer
“If you take a vehicle off-road to drive through our forests, you’re not only risking your own safety, but that of others who are hiking and bushwalking through the landscape, and you can cause significant environmental damage.” “Our officers conduct frequent patrols in state forests and use advanced surveillance technology to identify illegal off-road driving and riding.”