An increase in people using their quads for reasons other than off-road purposes has prompted transport authorities to declare the use of these vehicles on public roads illegal.

An increase in people using their quads for reasons other than off-road purposes has prompted transport authorities to declare the use of these vehicles on public roads illegal.

The Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors (AMID) has stated that quads are sold "for off-road use only" and not fitted with the correct equipment to ensure roadworthiness.

However, licences were issued to people registering new quads, making it easier to obtain a roadworthy certificates. The fitment of the necessary mirrors, lights, hooter, speedometer and road tyres brought these quads in compliance with the Road Traffic Act.

Once these loopholes were discovered by the SABS, the agency, together with the AMID, decided to apply existing regulations which had not been enforced. The SABS is the national transport department's representative regarding the approval of new models for registration on the NATiS system.

AMID also added that these vehicles seldom have the correct dynamics that would make them suitable for use on hard-surfaced roads.

In order for a vehicle to be certified roadworthy, the SABS insists that the driving axle be fitted with a differential. Since very few quad bikes are fitted with differentials, many new or used quads may not be certified roadworthy.

The National Road Traffic Act further states that every vehicle, even if used exclusively for off-road purposes, must be registered and a licensing fee paid. Also, if a vehicle must be registered, a licence must be paid and negotiations are currently underway to create a different licensing class for "off road vehicles".