Police have vowed to crack down on anyone caught riding dirt bikes and monkey bikes illegally and at high speed near Tootgarook’s Weeroona Reserve. In an online post, they said: “We will be seizing and impounding these bikes. We will be issuing fines. We will be putting people before the courts for their offending. We will not tolerate irresponsible behaviour that puts people at risk.”
Police said they would work with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and residents to crack down on bikes being ridden illegally around the Weeroona Reserve area, including Weeroona St, Browns Rd, Truemans Rd and Highbury Rd. Referring to the death of a 34-year-old mother of two who was killed after being hit by a monkey bike outside a Carrum Downs shopping centre in 2015, they said: “You only need to look to the tragic events in Carrum Downs to see how dangerous these vehicles can be when they’re misused. It is vitally important that any information regarding these offenders is passed along to us.”
The council’s community safety co-ordinator, Talana Cook, said monkey bikes were dangerous particularly because they were unregistered and often had limited braking ability relative to their power. “They are often ridden along areas of public open space at high speeds, endangering other park users including children and dog walkers,” she said. “Residents living close to these open spaces have voiced their concerns not only about the safety of their families, but also the ongoing noise issues associated with these vehicles.”
Ms Cook said the council would examine entry points to the reserves to potentially limit access. “We are also working closely with the police to identify areas of concern, such as Weeroona Reserve, so that police can charge offenders and have their vehicles seized and impounded.”
Police urged anyone with information to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.