Shepway off-road vehicle amnesty

Contributed by editor on Jul 19, 2006 - 12:05 AM


Kent Police and Shepway Council are joining forces to tackle the illegal and dangerous use of off-road vehicles such as scooters and go-peds.

There have been a number of complaints from the public because such vehicles damage and destroy local parklands, cause a noise nuisance, are often ridden dangerously o­n roads and pavements, and found to be in a dangerous condition. 

The legal requirements to ride these vehicles are at the minimum – a driving licence, MOT, insurance, road tax, crash helmet, registration document and plates.  o­n average it would cost between £1150 and £1800 to own and legally use an off road vehicle.

There are so few areas where they can be ridden legally in South Kent, so the advice is simply: ‘don’t buy them’.

PC Jacqui Harris from the Neighbourhood Policing Unit at Folkestone Police Station has been visiting schools in the Shepway area this week to educate youngsters about the dangers, and consequences of riding off-road vehicles.

She has also been telling them about a special Amnesty Week for off road vehicles which is running between Monday 31 July and Sunday 6 August 2006.

PC Harris said:  “Simply bring any off road vehicle to Folkestone Police station, Bouverie Road West between 8am and 8pm during that week and we will dispose of your vehicle free of charge.  We especially want to see the cheaper, more dangerous bikes handed in – the sorts that are being swapped between groups or purchased cheaply.

“For those who hand in these vehicles during the amnesty and are not involved in anti social behaviour over the summer holidays, we are offering an opportunity to visit a local Motocross venue and have a go in safe and appropriate surroundings.

“Please remember it is your responsibility to ensure you are not handling stolen goods, if you are buying/swapping these vehicles, say for example £20, it is obvious there is something not right and you should consider they might be stolen.  You could be arrested for ‘handling stolen goods.”  She added.

Officers will be patrolling the areas used by these vehicles during the summer holidays and will be enforcing the law.

Anyone who break the law runs the risk of serious injury, their vehicle being seized, a heavy fine, points o­n their licence (even if they haven’t yet got o­ne), disqualification, imprisonment or an anti social behaviour order.

YOU MUST NOT – Ride o­n public land, parks, pavements, bridleways, pathways or public roads.

OFF ROAD VEHIICLES INCLUDE – moto cross, enduro and trial bikes, quad bikes, electric scooters, buzz boards and go-peds.

For further information please call PC HARRIS o­n 01303 289263 or Shaun TAYLOR (Shepway Council) o­n 01303 852298.