‘Anti-social’ motorists using footpaths and bridleways to avoid busy main roads

Holiday traffic and roadworks are leading an increasing number of motorists to use vehicles in an ‘anti-social manner’, say police.

They have noted more drivers are straying off the beaten track – to unapproved routes not suitable for motor vehicles.

Devon and Cornwall Police have today issued an alert to those tempted to use footpaths and bridleways as a shortcut.

In a message to local drivers, the force issued guidance on the difference between unapproved roads and byways.

“Do not mistake any other form of track or path as a byway as it is a criminal offence to ride/drive a motor vehicle on any public right of way other than a road, byway or approved track,” a spokesperson stated.

“If persons are caught riding or driving a motor vehicle on a public footpath or bridleway they will be issued with a warning for using a vehicle in an anti-social manner.”

The alert said byways should be used lawfully and reminded motorists that they are for people on foot, horseback, bicycle or vehicle including horse-drawn carriage, motorcycle or other motor vehicle.

Motorists are reminded that footpaths should only be used by walkers and bridleways by those on foot, a bicycle or horseback.

Restricted byways can only be used by walkers, horse riders or those driving a horse-drawn carriage.

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