Forest joyriders in for a shock
Joyriders who use State forest roads to test out their 4WDs in wet weather are in for a rude shock to the hip pocket.
People who are caught causing damage to roads or the environment in State forests are liable for a penalty of up to $2200.
“The roads through Bom Bom State Forest near Grafton, for example, have been used by 4WD drivers during the summer wet weather to such an extent that they are all but impassable for most vehicles,” said Forests NSW community forester David Wilson.
“There are mud holes nearly hip deep in some roads, and drivers have taken to the bush to avoid some of the larger and longer mud holes.
“This behaviour is creating an environmental mess, and it is also impeding access to the forest for fire fighting purposes, and for normal forest uses such as firewood collection with the appropriate permits and other recreational users like mountain bikers.”
Mr Wilson said drivers were welcome to use forest roads for recreation, but they must follow the proper regulations.
“We expect roads to only be used sensibly during dry weather and certainly not during wet weather when roads are damaged,” Mr Wilson said.
As forest roads are considered the same as public streets under the law, drivers or motorcycle riders must be licensed and vehicles must be registered.
Police are able to prosecute drivers who ignore the proper road rules in State forest with the accompanying fines and loss of demerit points.
“Drivers must use formed roads and trails and adhere to the maximum speed limit in all forest roads of 60km an hour unless the road is signposted otherwise,” Mr Wilson said.
“It has reached the stage that Forests NSW will be actively monitoring Bom Bom State Forest and other forests that are being used improperly, and where possible, penalty infringement notices will be issued.
“We will also be asking police to act if necessary.”
Media contact: Howard Spencer 02 66568825 or 0428 696672