On Friday 3rd March parliament debated the Off Road Vehicles, ( Registration) Bill. This is a private members bill brought by Graham Stringer MP for Manchester Blackley. The Bill passed its second reading and has been passed to committee stage.
The Bill has been brought in specifically to tackle the nuisance caused by the irresponsible, anti social and dangerous use of mini-moto motorcycles. This activity is already illegal and there are sufficient powers to deal with the problem which is highly localised and usually in areas of social deprivation. It is not a nationwide problem; it does not affect all communities.
However, this legislation would adversely affect all off road activities which are properly managed by governing bodies such as the Auto Cycle Union. It would place bureaucratic burdens on law abiding people who have a social responsibility and yet it would make no difference whatsoever on those who currently flaunt the law. It is a very blunt instrument, ill thought through, put forward to deal with a very specific problem.
There is already sufficient legislation to allow the police and local authorities to deal with the current scourge of illegal min-moto use. There is evidence from around the country that proactive campaigns are having an effect on the problem. There are schemes, supported by members of the Motorcycle Action Group, where youngsters can ride mini motos, legitimately in properly managed safe environments. Sales trends of mini motos also show that the 'craze' for these machines is already on the wane.
The Motorcycle Action Group are concerned that this bill will fail miserably to achieve its objectives and at the same time create a nightmare for bone fide motorcyclists engaged in off road events.
David Short, MAG Campaigns Manager says, 'MAG will vigorously lobby MPs to help them with their understanding of the issues in order to ensure this Bill fails. It is clear that the government does not want this Bill. It would achieve nothing in the way of tackling anti social riding of mini motos but would inadvertently impose more red tape to strangle legitimate sport. Can you imagine running a team in the TT races where numerous engines are swapped in a racing frame during a fortnight of racing? This is nanny state at its worst and most ill informed'.