Information for Bikers
Date Published: 27/04/2012
Off Road Bike Information.
All motorcycles including Quad bikes, Thumpster bikes, Scooters and small machines that have a petrol engine and Mini motors which are powered by an electric motor are classified as not suitable for use on roads or pavements. This brings these bikes under the laws that make motorcycling safe for everyone. It does not matter how small the bike is, how slowly it travels or that it has been designed for children…
…THE LAWS STILL APPLY!
Advice for parents:
If you buy a motorbike or quad bike for your child, you are responsible for that young person and their actions. If a young person rides a bike on a road or on public land, they require insurance. You may also be prosecuted for permitting your child to ride on a road or public place and this will affect your own car or bike insurance.
Advice for parents and riders:
The only places where off road vehicles can be lawfully ridden is on private land with the direct permission of the land owner or at an organised, supervised off road centre. (Bear in mind that you will probably need off road insurance!) It is also strongly suggested that children wear full protective clothing at all times and a helmet which fits correctly and is securely fastened.
CAN I RIDE ON WASTELAND?
The simple answer is
NO. There is a common misconception that common land or wasteland is free for anybody to do whatever they like. This is not the case. There is a historical right of access for leisure purposes and even for grazing animals but all other use is not allowed. The law that covers bikes is Sec38, Road Traffic Act 1998. Riding motor vehicles on common land or wasteland is almost always illegal.
WHAT ABOUT OUR PARKS AND PLAYING FIELDS?
The Borough Council owns most recreational areas including parks and nature areas and there are specific laws covering these areas, preventing the use of mechanically propelled vehicles. Other areas are owned by certain trusts, none of which agree to the riding of these machines off road. Your local Borough Council has a list of areas that you can ride on. However, these are very limited and there may be a charge.
WHAT ABOUT RIGHTS OF WAY AND BRIDLE PATHS?
These historic rights of way date back to a time when horses were the primary means of transport. All the law surrounding this preserves the rights of people to walk and ride horses along them. That means no motorbikes or quads! The two groups do not mix and it is simply not safe.
CAN I USE MOTORBIKES ON THE PAVEMENT OR FOOTPATH?
Again, the simple answer is NO. Only vehicles that meet the required standards and are registered with the DVLA can be used on our roads, pavements and car parks. As well as being registered, they must be taxed and insured. Also an MOT will be required for vehicles over three years old. There is no exemption for vehicles designed for off road use and young people are also not exempt. This is all covered in the Road traffic act 1988.
Harassment, Alarm and Distress: Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002, makes it an offence for a motor vehicle to be used on a road or public place in a manner which causes harassment, alarm or distress. This includes the noise which is caused by off road machines that are fitted with exhaust systems that do not conform to road standards. A noisy exhaust is a common factor for complaint