Motorists must stay on formed roads, as off-road vehicle use can cause erosion, damage native vegetation and destroy wildlife habitat. It also poses a risk to public safety.
Our authorised officers conduct frequent patrols and use advanced surveillance technology to identify illegal off-road driving and riding.
As part of patrols, officers speak to motorists to ensure they are aware of the rules and regulations around driving in state forests, parks and reserves.
What are the rules for driving and motorcycle riding in state forests, parks and reserves?
The normal road rules apply for travelling on roads in state forests and parks, drivers and motorcyclists must be licensed, and their vehicles must be registered.
It is illegal to take motorised vehicles off-road on public land.
Electric power bikes with a power output greater than 250 watts are classified as motorcycles.
What damage can be caused by off-road vehicle use?
The ecosystems of our forests, parks and reserves are fragile, and taking motorised vehicles through native vegetation can destroy wildlife habitat and create soil erosion.
Damaging wildlife habitat through off-road motorcycle riding or driving can have a significant impact on native animals – and this is why the offence carries a fine of more than $8000.
In particular, walking tracks and trails are not designed for trail bikes as their surface and drainage can be easily damaged.
What is the safety risk posed by off-road vehicle use?
Motorists who illegally take their vehicles off made roads and tracks not only risk their own safety, but pose a danger to those exploring the bushland on foot.
We want people who are hiking, bushwalking and camping in our forests to be safe – and that’s why it’s a serious offence to take motorised vehicles off-road and put the safety of others at risk.
It’s important that together, we maintain a safe environment in our forests for all community members to enjoy.
Why are seasonal road closures put in place?
While road users can make the most of Victoria’s road network in state forests and parks for most of the year, sections of this network would rapidly deteriorate if they were used during the wetter months.
Some roads in state forest and parks are temporarily closed across winter to prevent serious road damage, and it’s an offence to travel on these roads when they have been closed.
Reviewed 26 April 2021