WEIPA’s wild west style quad bike riding days are over as police vow to crack down on those doing the wrong thing.
Police are seeing an increasing number of quad bikes and buggies being driven on local roads and green belts around town.
Police have been called to the Albatross Hotel twice recently in response to local residents riding their quad bikes and buggies to the drive-thru.
When intercepted by police, the majority of quad bike riders are breaking the law in some capacity. Most riders fail to wear helmets, have small children in their lap or are often under the influence of alcohol.
“We understand that quad bikes and buggies are fun and that they may appear to be a convenient choice for transport around town on a Friday or Saturday night, but often this option will end up costing you more than a taxi,” Senior Constable Emma Wallace said.
“The fine for not wearing a helmet on a quad bike will now cost you $400 and three demerit points.
“If you receive an additional ticket for not wearing a helmet in that same 12-month period, double demerit points will apply.”
This year, 16 people have lost their lives in quad bike-related accidents in Australia. This is double the amount compared to last year. Ten of these fatalities were the result of a rollover and in the majority of cases, the rider was not wearing a helmet.
Weipa ambulance officer in charge Tim West said serious injuries could occur when quad bike riders and passengers were involved in accidents.
“Injuries can range from simple musculoskeletal injuries to serious and life-threatening injuries, such as head injuries that can result in death,” he said.
Queensland law makes it an offence to carry a child under the age of 8 on a quad bike.
Quad bike riders are unable to utilise Queensland roads or road-related areas unless the quad bike is subject to the conditional registration scheme.
New quad bike laws are due to come into force on Sunday, October 11.
It will require all quad bikes to carry a safety sticker warning about the degree of slope at which the vehicle will overturn.