THE EFFORT to create a scheme for recreational registration and compulsory third-party insurance for dirt bike owners in a bid to reduce illegal use has ramped up.
A new statewide petition is calling on the government to grant such a scheme to allow users to register their bikes for a cost that is cheaper than full registration and use them in State Forests and National Park for recreational purposes.
It comes as Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery on May 29 moved a notice of motion in parliament to create the scheme.
The petition is also based on residents' concerns about increasing development and the exclusion of dirt bike riders from areas around the state's major population centres, which they say has left riders with very few areas to ride.
"This is resulting in increasing illegal, irresponsible and inconsiderate use of dirt bikes in semi-rural and urban areas and riders venturing into more rugged and remote terrain," the petition states.
Holbrook Motorcycle Club treasurer Murray Jones said it would be a positive if the initiative come into fruition.
"We've been pushing it for a long time," Mr Jones said.
"Having a recreational registration scheme would make access and insurance a lot easier to obtain.
"It'd also put number plates on bikes and make people do the right thing."
Having a recreational registration scheme would make access and insurance a lot easier to obtain.Murray Jones, Holbrook Motorcycle Club
Mr Jones said one component he would like to see implemented is related to junior riders.
"We'd like to see a junior licensing and registration scheme flow on from it to allow kids to ride bikes in forests," he said.
"Not having an avenue for recreational use is how some of the biggest issues come from."
Similarly, NSW Motorcycle Council president Brian Wood said the push for the initiative is based on the Victorian model, which he said has been successful.
"There are about 42,000 recreational registered bikes down there, which is about one out of five bike registrations," Mr Wood said.
"It's about $81 as opposed to $500 for full registration, so it'd be a major step forward if implemented here.
"Riders are reluctant to pay full registration as they might only want to use it a dozen times or so a year, so $81 is quite attractive to get yourself legally approved."
However, he said the petition aims to expand on the Victorian model.
"It doesn't allow anyone without a licence, so that includes anyone under 16 years and nine months, but we'd also like young kids to ride for recreational purposes," he said.
Evidence of not enough venues
Wallsend MP Sonia Hornery said after discussions with riders and community groups, it was "evident that there are very few places to ride dirt bikes ... that don't involve being part of a club and riding in races or events".
Discussions with groups led to two previous pushes for a recreational registration scheme in NSW.
Ms Hornery said that from those discussions and a review of the history of the recreational registration pushes, her office decided that the best way forward was to push for a statewide recreational registration scheme.
"The petition is coming along well - we have sent out more than a thousand copies and I am hoping to have a large number of them back by the end of July," Ms Hornery said.
"A number of MPs have indicated support for the idea and I am hopeful we can get a good outcome."
Currently in NSW, only Stockton Beach, just north of Newcastle, is the only location that has a recreation vehicle only area where users of motocross bikes and all-terrain vehicles may obtain recreation vehicle registration for use there.
Ms Hornery said riders are keen to see it expanded to other areas or a recreational registration be put in place that would allow riders to ride legally in areas that many currently ride illegally.
- Download the petition here.
- Petition for NSW Recreational Registration on Facebook
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