Police campaign targets Otways dirtbikers

A police campaign will target dirtbike riders in the Otways.

POLICE have put Colac district dirt bike riders on notice, launching a new campaign targeting riders in the Otways.

Sergeant Shane Howard of Colac Highway Patrol said Operation Kick Starter, a Transport Accident Commission-funded blitz, would involve police officers working overtime on weeknights.

He said police would target unregistered motorbikes and unlicensed riders.

“We will be working afternoon shifts during the week because we know motorcyclists get down into the Otways and south of Colac on weeknights,” Sgt Howard said.

“So we’re going to check them particularly in relation to registration and licences – road registration and recreational registration,” he said.

Sgt Howard said riders who were unlicensed and riding an unregistered bike faced a combined fine of more than $1200.

He said police had different sources of information about motorbike riders’ behaviour in the Otways.

“We’re locals, we live locally and not all of us live in town so we have information from members that live in certain areas around the district,” Sgt Howard said.

“Also members of the public that ring in occasionally to tell us about riders and their behaviour,” he said.

Sgt Howard said the blitz wasn’t an attempt to be deceptive to the riders but to ensure their safety.

“It will be mobile patrols in a car – we’re not going into the bush to look for them,” Sgt Howard said.

“We’ll wait and speak to them when they’re getting their bikes off and putting them back on.

“For a lot of them it is education, but if someone is committing any relevant offences they’ll be dealt with accordingly.

“If they have gained a licence they have gained some sort of education, but without a licence you don’t know if they have had any education at all.

“There’s nothing secretive about it – most of them are aware of their obligations,” he said.

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