Police warning over off-road driving in woodlands
A NEW campaign has been launched to highlight the dangers of illegal off-road driving in woodlands throughout the the North east of Scotland.
And Grampian Police have warned 4x4, quad and motorbike drivers that they face having their vehicle seized if they are caught driving off road without the permission of the landowner.
The new awareness campaign is being backed by the Forestry Commission and posters, advising drivers of their responsibilities, are being distributed to key sites throughout the Grampian Police force area.
Calum Murray, the recreation and tourism manager for the Forestry Commission, said: “The illegal use of motorbikes, quads, & 4x4’s in the forest poses a real danger to visitors in our forests.
“You can imagine what might happen when a fast moving bike or quad meets a horse rider and frightens the horse. We don’t want that kind of incident in the forest.
“The drivers of these vehicles are not only putting other forest users in danger, they are also putting themselves at risk. They could take a bend at speed and find a timber lorry or a harvester coming the other way. These are the types of vehicles that move about most of our forests on a daily basis.
“Hundreds of visitors use our beautiful woodlands across the north east to enjoy the scenery and find some peace and quiet. We want to ensure they have a safe visit as well.”
Chief Inspector Ian Wallace, head of Roads Policing at Grampian Police, said: “Unfortunately, our officers are increasingly encountering people who don’t realise that many of the laws and regulations which apply to normal roads also apply to them. We are currently receiving a few reports of off-road driving in the forests most weekends.”
He added: “Drivers engaged in this type of unauthorised off road driving could be committing a number of offences. They need to be aware of that and the fact that they face a potential fine or, in the worst cases, having their vehicle seized by police.
“Off road driving can be a fun and safe hobby and clearly we will not stand in the way of that, however, our message is simple - make sure you’re safe and legal before you venture out.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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