Buying new wheels for Christmas? Check the laws here first

The logo for the joint police operation.
The logo for the joint police operation.

People thinking of buying vehicles such as motorcycles, mini motos and quad bikes as Christmas presents are urged to check the laws first.

These vehicles, which also include electric scooters, Go-Peds and Segways, are classed as mechanically propelled vehicles and as such are subject to additional costs under road traffic laws.

On a public road all riders or drivers must hold a suitable licence, insurance, tax, registration plate and may also need a valid MOT.

Public roads include a highway, any road that the public has access to, public footpaths, bridleways and a number of car parks.

Vehicles like these can be used on private land although only with permission from the landowner.

Not only can users end up in court for flouting standard regulations but their parents or guardians too.

Operation Endurance was launched across both Cleveland and Durham earlier this year to tackle illegal off-road bikes through education.

Inspector Jon Curtis, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “We often see cases where people buy vehicles such as quad bikes, mini motos and motorcycles as Christmas gifts without realising that they are classed as everyday vehicles in the eyes of the law and therefore the right documentation needs to be in place.

“Vehicles like these are often bought for children, without parents or carers being aware that allowing children to use vehicles in contravention of the Road Traffic Act means that they could be liable for a fine and penalty points on their driving licence.

“We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun, these vehicles can be enjoyable when used responsibly and on private land with permission, but we need people to be aware that their vehicles could be seized if they do not meet abide by the law.”

For further information visit www.askthe.police.uk