Joyriders ruin forest roads

Forests NSW Community Forester David Wilson and one of the ruined road in the Bom Bom State Forest.
Forests NSW Community Forester David Wilson and one of the ruined road in the Bom Bom State Forest.

WET weather drivers have been tearing state forest roads to shreds.

In an effort to stop the destruction, joyriders testing their 4WD skill in state forests when its wet, are now liable to penalties 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.

"That 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 must follow regulations.

"We expect roads to be used sensibly during dry weather only and certainly not during wet weather when they are prone to damage," Mr Wilson said.

As forest roads came under the same laws as public streets and roads, drivers or motorcycle riders had to be licenced and vehicles had to be registered.

Police were able to prosecute drivers who ignored road rules in state forests, 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, which is 60kmh, unless the road is signposted otherwise," Mr Wilson said.

"We will also be asking police to act if necessary."

Topics:  4wd damage road state forest

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