The use of quad bikes in Bradford, in particular, has been on the rise in busy local areas and many have slated them as a menace and called for rules to tighten on their use.
The law currently does not require them to be registered at point of sale, nor are they legally obligated to display a number plate. Such vehicles, are untaxed and uninsured, are not only a major nuisance to residents, they can be highly dangerous to pedestrians.
This week the government has said that it has no plans to register off-road vehicles, despite the high level of incidents of anti-social behaviour in Bradford involving these vehicles.
Mother of three, Rashida, from the Bradford 3 area said: “I have seen them doing wheelies myself on Leeds Road.
“Because the weather has started to get nice now, the quad bikes are coming out. Just last week I was crossing the road with my children just before the quad bike zoomed out of no where onto the road from a street joining Leeds Road.
“I’m sure the rider thought he was being really clever doing his wheelies, but not only was it a ridiculous and totally unnecessary sight, a couple of cars swerved on the busy road to avoid hitting him.
“I was terrified. I wondered what his mother would think of her son playing such a stupid stunt like that on a busy road, not only endangering himself but others too.”
Due to their speed and manoeuvrability, off-road vehicles are often used illegally and unsafely in busy residential and commercial areas by those involved in crime and acts of anti-social behaviour.
The Police are unable to safely pursue those on off road vehicles and are currently unable to trace any acts back to the owners or potential users as they are currently unregistered. This results in crimes going unpunished, which only further encourages the use of these vehicles, exacerbating the problem.
Bradford had called on the Government to introduce compulsory registration of off-road vehicles in order to reduce antisocial behaviour and improve safety in Bradford, but the response from Stephen Hammond MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State from the Department of Transport, states that they have no plans to introduce compulsory registration of off road vehicles.
In 1994 the DVLA introduced a voluntary scheme to register off road motorcycles, which was extended to all mechanically propelled vehicles, which are used off road.
Whilst the Department of Transport states the Government takes the use of unregistered vehicles on the road very seriously and is working with the Police to tackle these problems, they refuse to implement the one policy that allows Police to take action.
Police say off-road motorcycles and quad bikes are a ‘constant issue’ in Bradford and officers said many of the vehicles were not road-legal and riders often did not wear helmets.
Recently MP John Mann suggested unregistered and unlicensed quads and motorbikes were being used by drug dealers to hide and despatch caches of drugs.