Questions | Legal
Questions | License
Questions | Insurance
Q - I received a
notice of intended prosecution stating I was
speeding, with video evidence to back up the
claim. It occurred on the day I emigrated overseas
for 6 months. A family member informed me over
the phone. I don’t plan to plead anything.
If I am away for 6 months, will the charges
A - I suspect if you ignore it then you will
simply receive a summons to appear in court,
unless you are lucky enough too be a victim
of an administrative oversight! Your family
member should inform the court that you are
overseas and it is then likely that the court
will order a adjournment until you return. If
you write to them and explain you are overseas
then they may decide not to proceed, it’s
worth a try! It is not an offence that you are
overseas for 6 months.
Q - I passed my
motorcycle test last November. I have three
points on my license from an SP50 (speeding)
in my car from May 2004. Will the new driver
probation period (where six points within the
first two years results in the revocation of
the license) apply to me, having passed the
car test some years ago?
A - This legislation was put in place to deal
with new drivers/riders. It therefore only applies
to newly qualified road users, not those who
have passed their test prior to the legislation
coming into force. In this case you are not
a newly qualified road-user.
Q - I’ve just
head that you wont be able to buy non-standard
numberplates later this year. Is this true?
I build custom bikes which look rubbish with
a standard plate!
A - It has not been illegal to manufacture
or sell non-standard plates as long as it is
outlined that they were sold for ‘show
use only’. However, the law changes on
November 1st 2008 when it will be illegal for
ANY company to manufacture these. According
to the DVLA website “from 1st November
irrespective of any advice provided by suppliers
it will be an offence to supply non-standard
compliant plates, with a maximum fine of £2500”.
Q - I recently got
pulled over and the police accused me of riding
with no insurance. I always pay for it up front
but when I phoned the insurance company they
said it expired a month ago but I did not receive
any letter warning me of this, where do I stand?
A - It is your duty and responsibility to ensure
that your vehicle is insured. It is very likely
that you will be prosecuted, fined six points
and a fine on top. You must also disclose this
event to your insurance company as it is an
offence not to declare a major motoring offence.
Q - I was caught
doing 50mph in a 30mph zone by a policeman with
a handheld gun standing at the side of the road.
I genuinely did not see him and have now received
a courtsummons for speeding and failing
to stop. What penalties can I expect to receive?
A - Failing to stop is not endorsable but still
attracts a fine, the speeding offence carries
a penalty of 3-6 points, with disqualification
at the court's discretion. If you have a witness
or someone else who did not see the policeman
then the court may give you the benefit of the
doubt but suspect you will receive 6 points
and a fine. Good luck!
Q - I was filtering
on the outside of stationary traffic recently
at approx 20mph ahead of some traffic lights
near road works. A car pulled out unexpededly
and as a result I could not stop in time and
ended up braking my wrist. My solicitor is recommending
that I accept a 80/20 split in the driver's
favour, the driver argues that a van flashed
her to pull out, although this was visible by
me. Where do I stand?
A - Each case depends on its own merits BUT
a recent case (Farley v Buckley) which sounds
very similar to your case. The biker got nothing!
It comes down to a judge's decision and the
speed all involved vehicles were travelling
and their position in the road and obviously
any witnesses. Based on the information provided
it is likely that you would be between 50-100%
to blame. A couter offer of 50/50 would be recommended
and see what the other party comes back with.
Q - I was caught
speeding by an unmarked police car who followed
me from a distance, after i was speeding for
approx 1 mile they flashed their lights and
pulled me over. Is this allowed?
A - There is no requirement for a police car
in pursuit to show their flashing lights or
sound their siren, they are there to aid filtering
through heavy traffic.
Q - Is it illegal
to use an illuminated sat nav whilst
A - Regulation 110 allows a screen to display
your position, however if it shows a video image
then it's against tyhe law but it doesn't include
Q - I have received
an NIP as I was reportedly doing 60mph in a
30 zone. Will I have to go to court?
A - If you are caught doing more than 50mph
in a 30 zone, then APCO guidelines state that
a court summons will be issued, not a £60
fine and three points. The magistrates will
then decide on your punishment.
Q - Is it legal for a
pilon to wear an iridium visor?
A - No, the same law applies to the rider,
there's no excemption for the pillon.
Q - Is it legal to wear
headphones while riding?
A - Yes, I would suggest using a system such
as Autocom, this can then be plugged into
an MP3 player or iPod.
Q - I recently received
a Notice of Intent to Prosecute (NIP) for
doing 47mph in a 30 limit zone but the time
between the speeding offence and receiving
the NIP exceeded 14 days. The photot also
displayed a different speed of 45mph, can
I challege the NIP?
A - The speed discrepancy is not enough on
its own to avoid prosecution. You are still
required to complete to NIP but could argue
that the NIP had expired, thus avoiding prosecution.
Q - What is the legal
age to be a pillon on a bike, I am considering
taking my ten-year-son on the back of my bike?
A - There is no lgeal requirement, except
that they can reach the foot pegs, have adequate
support and a grab rail or equivelant. Failure
to comply may result in penalty points or
disqualification plus a fine up to £5000,
so may sure the child can be carried safely.
Q - Is it legal to use
a mini moto on a public road?
A - No. All the Petrol Scooters are not intended
for use on Public Roads or Paths. They are
purely for use on private land or land where
you have got permission to use them. To be
able to use them on the roads they would need
to be SVA approved.
Q - When filtering through
traffic recently a car pulled out and caused
me to swerve and crash into another stationary
car, where do I stand?
A - There is no specific mention of filtering
in the highway code, so motorcyclists must
observe the rules on overtaking. Failure to
observe the Highway Code doesn't mean a motorcyclist
is liable to criminal proceedings but it may
be used to establish or negate liability.
In a landmark case last week (week commencing
13th February 2006) a motorcyclist overturned
a long-standing ruling that has robbed many
riders of compensation in the past and was
the first motorcyclist in the UK to come away
with zero blame after he was knocked off his
bike whilst filtering through traffic.
Q - I had a motorcycle
accident last week, the driver who hit me
took responibility at the time but has since
changed his plea, what should I do?
A - To give you the best chance of making
a successful claim, take the following advice;
- It is esential to gather as much information
as possible, especially where bikes are
- Get the full names, addresses and mobile
phone numbers of all potential witnesses
to the accident
- Take accurate measurements of the road,
in particular the accident scene
- With the increased use of camera mobile
phones, take as many pictures of the scene
to bolster your case, including pictures
of debris and the other driver (just in
case they are not insured)
- Pay as much attention to details as possible
- Document your version of events as soon
as possible after the accident
- Log all injuries and get them treated
at the earliest opportunity
- Keep receipts of all expenditure
- If necessary, use a lawyer with a good
understanding of motorcycle issues
- Good preparation is essential, especially
early on. If you're unable to do so after
the accident ask a friend to do it.
Q - Is it compulsory
to wear a helmet when using a road-legal quad
on the road?
A - In a word No.
Q - Can a pillon use
a dark visor on their crash helmet?
A - No, the same rules apply to the rider
as they do for the pillon, the pillon is liable
if their visor is illegal.
Q - A few weeks ago,
I let my friend ride my bike to the shops
although he has no licence or insurance. On
his return he got flashed by a speed camera.
I put his name on the NIP but what are the
consequences of our actions?
A - As you knowingly let him use the bike
without a licence or insurance you have committed
an offence, the penalty of which is similar
to a speeding offence. If you give false information
on the NIP then you could be found guily of
peverting the course of justice, the penatly
is an appearance in the Crown Court and a
possible custodial sentance. There's no easy
way out I'm afraid.
Q - A friend recently
received a notice of intended prosecution
for serious alleged offences. The registration
is correct but he was overseas at the time
and has witnesses to prove it. What should
A - You should advise your mate to report
the facts to the police immediately. We suggest
you write to the Chief Constable explaining
the situation and ask how they should respond.
If it were to go to court then you (presumably)
have a reliable alibi. It is likely that the
police will ask for strong evidence that it
could not possibly have been her. You should
also get witness statements drawn up and signed.
Q - A foreign lorry driver
I was overtaking on a dual carriageway without
notice changed lanes to the lane I was riding
in. He did not signal or look, as a result
I took evasive action and ended up sliding
down the road. The driver stopped and gave
his details to the police. Where do I stand?
A - The UK Green Card Bureau, the Motor Insurer's
Bureau (MIB) acts as the insurer of the foreign
lorry. The MIB handles claims against foreign
drivers if the vehicle is part of the Green
Card System and has an MIB agreement. If the
foreign vehicle is insured and the insurer
has a UK agent, the agent will deal with the
claim. We recommend you speak to a bike-specialist
Q - I had an accident
several months ago and was off work for about
three months. Following a police interview,
I received a summons to appear in court charged
with driving without due care and attention.
Is there a time limit when a summons can be
A - The time limit is six months from the
date of the alleged offence. Your should use
the court apearance as a chance to express
the pain you have experienced and resulting
stress and hope they are not too hard on you.
Q - I was hit be a driver
on the wrong side of the road and ended up
in a ditch with three broken ribs and a few
bruises. The driver did not stop and there
were no witnesses, can I claim compensation
for the damage to my bike and my injuries?
A - You can pursue a claim for an unisured
loss via the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB),
they can be contacted on 01908 830 001. They
are funded by a fee which is charged on every
motor insurance policy sold within the UK.
You must report the accident to the police
within 5 days for property damage or 14 days
for personal injury, the property claim must
then be made within 9 months and the injury
claim, 3 years of the incident. It is also
advisable to get a doctor's assesment for
proof of the injury.
Q - I suffered a motorcycle
accident and disagree with the advice given
to me by my soilcitor, he informs me that
the legal expenses company will not fund a
court case as the solicitor suggested that
the cause of the accident was 50% my fault?
A - You first port of call would be to oficially
complaint to your solicitor as the matter
may be settled without having to take further
action. If your complaint is still not resolved,
you can then contact the Law Society on 0845