Trail bike riders in Sunraysia’s state forests are on notice that Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) and Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers will be monitoring their activities over the coming week with an expected increase in trail bike activity associated with the upcoming Hattah Desert Race Event.

FFMVic District Manager Philip Strachan said trail bike riding is becoming an increasingly popular, fun and adventurous way to enjoy the great outdoors, but riders must be safe, responsible and show consideration to others.

“With the upcoming Hattah Desert Race event and recent weather making ideal riding conditions, we expect to see more trail bike riders coming to our forests to enjoy the great outdoors,” Mr Strachan said.

“Trail bike riding is a great way to explore the bush, but it’s important to remember that you must be licensed, have a registered bike and stick to formed roads and vehicle tracks to protect other forest users and the environment.

“Walking tracks are not designed for motorbikes and riders pose a risk to others using the trails.

“Riding off-road has a significant impact on the environment by causing soil erosion and damage to native vegetation.

“Riders should reduce their speed when they come across wildlife, campsites, picnic areas and when they come across other forest users.

“It’s always best to ride with a buddy, let someone know where you’re going and carry a personal locator beacon or phone to call for help in an emergency.

“Mini-bikes, quad bikes and unregistered motorcycles can only be used on private land.

“Let’s work together to keep our bushland healthy and safe for everyone to enjoy.”

The Conservation Regulator and FFMVic conduct regular patrols in our forests and issue on-the-spot-fines for off-road vehicle use. There will be an increased presence of Officers in the areas most likely to be impacted by the Hattah Desert Race Event.

Riders who stray off-road risk receiving a fine of $165, while damaging, disturbing or destroying wildlife habitat carries a maximum fine of more than $8,000.

For more information on the rules and regulations please visit: www.ffm.vic.gov.au/recreational-activities/trail-bike-riding.

Riders are reminded to stay COVID safe and maintain 1.5 metres social distance.

For more information can be found via https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/.