Northfield’s neighbourhood police team have appealed for road users and residents to come forward with information to help them deal with the issue off anti-social motorbike riding in the area.
For some months, there have been several young people riding bikes antisocially: without helmets, no registration, no insurance, running red lights and pulling wheelies in traffic etc across the whole of south west Birmingham.
Recent hotspots have been in and around Rubery, Rednal, Longbridge and West Heath.
On Monday, we posted a dashcam video of a scrambler being ridden dangerously at the junction of Longbridge Lane and High Street in Longbridge. The rider, who is not wearing a helmet, weaves through vehicles waiting at the lights. The scrambler, displaying no registration plate, is then ridden through a red light across the junction into Devon Way, with the rider pulling a wheelie.
What does the law say?
In law, off road motorbikes are regarded as motor vehicles which must be constructed to a specific standard in order to be ridden on a public highway. Most off road motorbikes do not meet this standard. Visit the Department for Transport’s website for more information.
In addition to meeting construction requirements, off road motorbikes also need the following if they are to be used on a public highway:
• DVLA registration (log book)
• Road tax
• A valid MOT
• Fitted with lights
• Fitted with registration plates
• Type approval
The rider must also:
• Be aged 17 or over (or 16 if the vehicle meets the definition of a moped)
• Hold a valid driving licence
• Have valid motor insurance
• Wear suitable safety equipment (e.g. a motorbike helmet)
If the above conditions are not met, it is illegal to ride an off road motorbike on the road.
What will happen?
Police have the power to seize bikes and cars which are used in a way which causes harassment, alarm or distress even if the motorist has tax and insurance.
A warning is given first but if that fails to be effective and the vehicle is used in an anti-social manner again, it will be seized under section 59 of the Police Reform Act.
Vehicles can also be seized if the rider is not insured, or has no road tax.
Riders and their families should also be aware that, if they are social housing tenants, their home may be at risk.
Neighbourhood teams need as much information as possible on antisocial and illegal use of bikes, especially information to help them locate the bikes and identify the riders.