Riding a monkey bike in public will be illegal under tough new restrictions to be introduced by the Victorian government in Parliament this week.
Monkey bikes, which are smaller versions of motorbikes, can be impounded and crushed if they are ridden in public places.
Offenders could be fined up to $3,109 for riding the bike dangerously in public.
Riders will also need to have a valid motorcycle licence otherwise they will be charged for driving whilst unlicensed.
The harsh penalties have been introduced after two horrific deaths in the past 18 months as a result of monkey bikes being ridden dangerously in public. A mother of two was killed after being struck by a monkey bike at a shopping centre car park in Carrum Downs, in Melbourne’s south-east.
Earlier this year, Consumer Affairs Victoria seized almost 200 unsafe monkey bikes because they did not meet Australia’s safety standards. The main problems found were faulty brakes and steering.
Farmer Matt Di Gregorio told The Newsroom he is not surprised that monkey bikes don’t meet Australia’s safety standards.
“Monkey bikes are very dangerous, they can easily break and if they are not serviced properly then accidents can happen.”
“Hopefully taking them off public roads will save lives. People should just be smart when it comes to riding the bikes instead of being silly and fooling around,” he said.
— Lauren Hilbert (@laurenhilbert) October 24, 2016
Children are most at risk of being injured while riding a miniature motorbike. Thirty one per cent of injuries have involved children aged five to nine and 19 per cent have been children aged 10 to 14, data from Monash University’s Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit found.
If a monkey bike meets all Australian safety standards then it can be legally used on private property. However, it cannot be used on public roads.
Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement, “We’re protecting road users and pedestrians. Now, Victoria Police will have the power to crack down on riders who are caught doing the wrong thing.”
If a monkey bike is found abandoned, police will be able to impound the bike. If it is not collected after three months, it will be crushed. Anybody found selling an unsafe bike could be fined up to $220,000. – Megan Simmonds