FRANKSTON residents are being urged to dob in monkey bike riders and think twice before buying their children one for Christmas.
The call from Frankston councillors follows the death of Carrum Downs woman Andrea Lehane after she was hit by an unlicensed monkey bike rider outside the Carrum Downs shopping centre on 23 September.
The No Monkey Bike message has been put on YouTube, with images of the bikes being crushed at a scrap metal yard to ram home the message: break the law and lose your bike to the crusher.
In an open letter to residents, the mayor, Cr Sandra Mayer and her colleagues warn about illegally ridden monkey bikes, urging them to report riders to police.
The letter refers to the tragic death of Ms Lehane, a mother of two, whose life support system was switched off after she suffered “unsurvivable brain damage”.
“Mrs Lehane’s family and friends now have to deal with the loss,” the letter stated.
“The monkey bike riders (all teenagers) will have to live with the consequences for the rest of their lives. It is a tragedy for many families.”
Caleb Jakobsson, 18, of Carrum Downs, was granted bail after the incident and is due back in court in January. Bail conditions include a 10pm-9am curfew, reporting to police three times a week and not leaving the state or country. He has also been banned from contacting the others charged in the case, including by social media, and has been ordered to live with an unnamed relative.
The mayor said she was appealing for community help to stamp out monkey bike riding.
“Someone will know where these monkey bikes are coming from. Without this information from you, tracing offenders is almost impossible,” Cr Mayer stated.
“If illegal monkey bike riders are riding from your house or street, please report their address details to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or, in emergencies, call triple 000.
“By reporting incidents to police, you may be saving lives. If you know where these riders are coming from, please tell police.”
The mayor said Frankston Council in 2007 led the way by being the first council in the state to change its Local Laws to ban the riding of monkey bikes in public places.
“Since that time it has been an offence for any person to ride an unregistered monkey bike, mini bike or trail bike on roads and public places in Frankston – including nature reserves,” Cr Mayer stated.
“For those who may be considering purchasing a monkey bike, please think carefully. Children are not aware of the road rules and pose a potential risk, not only to themselves but to others.”