Crackdown on motorised bikes

POLICE have caught six people drink-driving on motorised bicycles in the past six months, prompting a crackdown on the vehicles and their riders.

Ballarat Highway Patrol members say push bikes with motors attached to them are becoming more common, with many people riding them illegally.

Police say most of the bikes equipped with motors around Ballarat are big enough for them to be classed as motorbikes, meaning they need to be registered and riders need to be licensed.

However, a lot of riders continue to hit the road illegally.

Drink-driving is also a regular offence among riders, with six of the seven riders who have been caught riding unregistered vehicles in the last six months blowing over the prescribed alcohol limit.

Often the motors for the bikes are sourced from China via the internet and fitted to the bikes illegally, or the entire vehicles are shipped in from overseas.

The vehicles themselves are not illegal, but need to be registered and their riders licensed.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Acting Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale said there was confusion among riders and the general public as to what was legal.

The law states that if the auxiliary motor exceeds 200 watts, the bike is then classed as a motor vehicle.

If they are more powerful than 200 watts, riders then need to be licensed and the motorbike needs to be registered and have all road safety requirements such as indicators and mirrors.

The full set of laws regarding motorised bicycles and small motorised vehicles can be found at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

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