Brazen trail bike riders give police the slip
ZOOMING through red lights, circling police cars and terrifying bush walkers across Redbank Plains and Springfield, unregistered trail bike riders are getting on the nose of the community and police alike.
Police have received a barrage of complaints regarding the behaviour of dirt bike riders but have admitted they are struggling to catch up with offenders.
Springfield Acting Officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Ben MacKenzie said brazen offenders often drove past the police station in groups of six or seven.
"They ride on the wrong side of the road, they disobey red lights at high speed, they ride on one wheel for 200m down a main road in the middle of the afternoon," Snr Sgt MacKenzie said.
"The problem is, there's no number plates and they don't stop for us. We've had them literally ride in a circle around a police car at a red light."
Snr Sgt MacKenzie said it was unusual for a day to go by without hearing at least two complaints about unregistered trail bike riders.
"Some come through as jobs, some come through on the (police) radio, some people come up to the police station counter," he said.
"More and more people seem to be getting upset and there seems to be more of it because it's very difficult to prosecute anyone.
"These people do it on the roadway, we try to get them to stop but they take off and that's it.
"(We can't follow them) because that's deemed to be a pursuit."
Queensland legislation stipulates police cannot engage in a pursuit in matters regarding traffic offences, unless there is an immediate serious risk to safety.
Evading police itself is an offence, which carries a heavy penalty, including a $6,650 fine.
"The Traffic Branch has previously tried to build a database where we have photos supplied by members of the public," Snr Sgt MacKenzie said.
"If we can identify a bike and rider one day, we might have a line of inquiry but that still doesn't prove we can prosecute them."
Police are working with Ipswich City Council to target people unlawfully riding in the White Rock nature reserve at Redbank Plains.
"You get people who are just walking along and suddenly trail bikes are riding down the pedestrian paths," Snr Sgt MacKenzie said.
"Half the problem is a lot of trail bikers don't know where to ride because governments are not prepared to set aside blocks of land - if you come off your bike and become a paraplegic, who pays?
"You're unregistered so there's no compulsory third party insurance for medical costs and no government department wants to be sued."
Read more news by Ebony Graveur.