The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) is calling on MPs to vote against a new Off-Road Vehicles (registrations) Private Members Bill, that will have limited or no effect on the mini-bike problem.
The Bill, which is due to receive its second reading on March 2nd, is recommending a compulsory, retrospective, registration scheme of all off road motor vehicles as a method of dealing with the misuse of mini-bikes.
The huge growth of mini-bikes, imported from China between 2002 and 2005, sold at very low cost and of variable standard contributed to the abuse of bikes on public highways. Many had been bought as toys, with little understanding of the responsibilities and legal constraints.
In 2006 however, there was a significant reduction in interest and the number of Chinese imports fell by 59%. The MCI believes that this 'crash' in the market can be attributed to a number of factors and is likely to continue:
- Police 'crack-downs' and the use of existing powers to seize and crush
- Publicity surrounding the illegal use
- Parental awareness
- Mini Bikes going out of fashion
- Home Office campaign Summer 2006
- Action by Auto Cycle Union to get more local provision for legal use
- Localised action - police, residents, Local Authority
- The Motor Cycle Industry is advising that there are already twelve laws in place that can be used to deal with the issue of misuse of mini bikes and an extra law, which would not come into place for many months would have a limited effect on the illegal users who already would have little regard for the current law.
Craig Carey Clinch said, "The proposed legislation for a compulsory, retrospective registration scheme is going to have many negative implications for people who are already using off-road vehicles legitimately and the ongoing law-breakers will be unlikely to conform as they are already breaking a range of laws, some of them quite serious such as riding without insurance.
"The scheme will be costly to implement and legitimate sport will become even more expensive and bureaucratic. The number plates, could be dangerous, as they would be likely to break and could be hazardous when racing or competing. The bureaucracy would involve the DVLA in the arduous and time-consuming task of tracking down bikes and the cost of the scheme could spiral.
"Resources would be better targeted if they were contributed to enable further police action using existing laws, developing provision and educating the public."
A fact sheet is available online at the MCIA website : http://www.mcia.co.uk/S_Public/scontent.asp?sc=X2.