Off-Road Bike and E-Scooter Warning in Christmas Run-Up
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Think before you buy is the stark warning around off-road bikes and e-scooters in the run-up to Christmas.
This festive season Cleveland Police and Middlesbrough Council are joining forces to remind people of both the law around and dangers of using off-road motorbikes, quad bikes and electric scooters.
Unlicensed and unregistered bikes have become the scourge of estates and footpaths across the borough, putting riders and pedestrians in danger, and being used in drug dealing and organised crime.
Since the start of the year, Cleveland police has received more than 5,500 calls about nuisance bikes, and has seized nearly 500 bikes in the last seven months.
Anyone looking to buy a motorcycle, mini moto or quad bike is reminded these are classed as vehicles which need to have road tax, insurance, a registration plate and possibly a valid MOT.
Those riding them need to have the appropriate driving licence and safety equipment, while parents or carers allowing them to be ridden by children could also be liable for prosecution.
E-scooters, off-road bikes and quads can only be ridden on private land and not on public or any green belt land within Middlesbrough.
Only e-scooters rented as part of government-approved trial schemes are allowed to be used on public roads.
The hard-hitting campaign has been supported with funding from the latest phase of the Government’s Safer Streets initiative.
Councillor Janet Thompson, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Community Safety, said: “These bikes have become the bane of people’s lives all year round, and it’s surely only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or even killed.
“These are not toys, and they’re not just being used for so-called ‘joy riding’ – they’re being used by organised criminals for a whole range of antisocial behaviour including drug dealing, and we need the public’s support to stamp out this potentially lethal nuisance.”
Inspector Andy Vickers, from Cleveland Police Roads Policing Unit, said: “Whilst electric scooters or quad bikes can be great fun, they are also dangerous vehicles which can cause serious harm if ridden irresponsibly and not in line with the traffic laws that are put in place to help protect people.
“Some people want to buy them as presents for Christmas, however, we need to make people aware of the laws surrounding them and the fact that they’re not toys, they are classed as vehicles in the eyes of the law.
“People need licences and insurance just like any other vehicle, otherwise they could end up with police seizing them, fines and points on their licence. So we’re simply asking people to think before they buy them, and ensure they comply with the law.”
Anyone with information regarding off-road bikes, where they are being stored or anyone using them illegally can call Cleveland Police on 101 or go to Crimestoppers online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Video footage and images can be shared via the COPA app.