Council and Police crackdown on unlawful dirt bike use
The Central Otago District Council (CODC) has been working with New Zealand Police in Alexandra to prevent unlawful off-road motorcycle use in parks and reserves, river tracks and private farms in the Alexandra area.
Council and Alexandra police had received numerous reports from the public that dirt bikes were travelling from their homes through parks and reserves, including the Otago Central Rail Trail, to ride in areas without prior permission, CODC Parks and Recreation Manager Gordon Bailey said.
“This is unacceptable and undesirable for many reasons, including the Health and Safety of pedestrians and other lawful users.”
In a Council-Police initiative, Operation Dust was formed to target and prevent unlawful off-road motorcycle use not just on council land but in other areas of the district. Over the past eight months, 14 individuals have been stopped in forbidden areas on dirt bikes. They were riding without the appropriate license class, risking a $400 infringement or maximum $1000 fine. As a result, appropriate signage will be installed in the areas where unlawful motorcycle use has been occurring.
With the New Year break approaching, Council and Police are asking riders to stop and think, and ask themselves these questions before they set out in the Central Otago area:
Just because its vacant land does it mean you can ride here?
Have you asked or been given prior permission to ride on this land?
How are you going to transport your dirt bike to and from the appropriate riding area?
If you are riding within an area that has public access, have you got the appropriate motorcycle license?
In a joint statement, Council and Police say:
“We want all holiday makers to have a safe and enjoyable stay in Central Otago over the break, but we ask that you have prior permission before riding on Council land, river tracks or private farms.”