Perhaps the worst Christmas present you can give?

Posted on 22/11/2012 by


They may be one of the most requested Christmas gifts by children and young people, but parents are being warned – steer clear of quad bikes and mini-motos. Mini-motos and quad bikes are popular, but local police are eager to let potential buyers know that these are vehicles, not toys, and they CANNOT be used on public roads and streets. They’re untaxable, uninsurable and so almost unusable.

The law states that to ride a bike on the road, you need to be over 16 and you must have registration documents, an MOT certificate, a driving licence, road tax, insurance and an approved crash helmet.

“It’s true, it’s illegal to take them onto public streets and roads – these vehicles can only be used on private land with the landowner’s permission. To use them on public roads is an offence,” said Drylaw community beat officer Neil Robinson. “We’re trying to get the message out to parents before they go spending money on these vehicles – don’t waste your money. If we see them on roads we will confiscate them, and the owner will then be subject to a substantial charge to get the vehicle back – it’s currently £170. That goes up daily if the bike is not reclaimed – costs like that are just not worth it.”

As well as potentially eye-watering fines, safety should also be a concern for those considering buying their kids a mini-moto or quad bike. “These vehicles can be dangerous – they can get up to speeds of 20mph and if a child comes off at that sort of speed you are looking at serious injury – there have been fatalities”, said Neil. “These vehicles are readily available, particularly on the internet, and these is some very cheap and nasty – and potentially very dangerous – stuff out there. There are no registration marks or chassis numbers either, so if your vehicle is stolen the chances are you’ll never see it again. We would say to parents: if you care about your children, don’t let them near these vehicles. If you’re stuck for ideas, why not think about a good pushbike – bicycles are a healthy alternative and you won’t be potentially risking your life every time you get on one.”

So if potential costs and safety issues haven’t convinced you, what about the consequences of antisocial behaviour? If you are a tenant with a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement – whether with the council or a housing association – you need to be aware of a specific rule that affects you: by allowing any petrol driven motor vehicle to be stored in your home or common area around your home you are effectively in breach of your tenancy agreement. This could result in legal action being taken against you and could put your tenancy at risk.

Don’t let a thoughtless Christmas present spoil your New Year – tell your kids to scrub the quad bike off that letter to Santa!