Right to ride; We're regularly stopped ... but our quad bike is legal.
THREE friends who chipped in to buy a quad bike say they are fed up at being stopped by police - despite doing nothing illegal.
Numan Ali, Jameil Khan and Amar Rashid, all from Stockton, claim they have been stopped up to ten times in the past few weeks since buying the 300cc bike.
But the 23-year-old friends say the machine is road legal, registered with the DVLA, fully taxed and insured and they all have the correct driving licences needed to ride it.
Jameil is a Stockton neighbourhood enforcement officer who works alongside the police in tackling crime and anti-social behaviour in the borough.
Due to a recent operation on his back he hasn't been able to ride the pounds 2,000 bike himself.
But he told the Gazette the number of times his friends have been pulled over by police "is getting out of control now".
"Our families have good reputations and it's embarrassing for us - people are asking questions," he said.
"Why should we have to keep getting pulled over when we are not doing anything illegal?"
Numan, a university student studying biomedical sciences, said: "We keep getting stopped all the time in our area. It doesn't look good for us - we don't like bringing the bike out now.
"Our friends wanted to buy quad bikes as well but now they don't want to get one."
Numan said the officers who stopped them were not even sure if they were breaking the law.
He added: "We're not speeding or doing anything against the law, and the police who stop us aren't doing us for anything."
Advice on the Police National Legal Database says for a quad bike to be used legally on the road it must be registered with the DVLA, taxed, insured and have an MOT.
The website adds: "They must also comply with all the stringent constructions and lighting requirements. There is no legal requirement to wear a helmet but from a safety aspect it is always advisable."
A quad bike to be used on the road must also display registration plates, it adds.
A spokesperson for Cleveland Police said: "It is very unusual to see quad bikes on the road as they are not a particularly stable form of road transport and are more suitable to off-road and farming use.
"Among the possible reasons for stopping anyone riding one are perhaps to check the quad bike is road legal, is not stolen and is well maintained.
"It's unfortunate these men feel they are being targeted but police have to do their job."
FULLY LEGAL: Call centre worker Amar drives the quad he bought with friends Pictures by IAN COOPER; FED UP: Numan Ali, Jameil Khan and Amar Rashid with their quad