As a personal injury solicitor I am acutely aware that the vast majority of cases I have taken for people who ended up paraplegic after an accident are for motorcyclists. In the majority of these cases the accident was not caused by a motorcyclist ratherby a car driver not paying attention. This highlights the vulnerability of motorcyclists.
The motorcycle has long been a popular source of transport and its use is increased in recent times. However, motorcyclists account for a large amount of deaths on our country’s roads. Therefore, it is important that all motorcyclists are aware of their legal obligations as road users to ensure their safety at all times.
As a motorcyclist, you are obliged to carry the correct category of motorbike licence to correspond with your motorcycle. There are three categories of motorcycle licence, the A1, A2 and A, which have different power allowances depending on the motorcycle in question and different ages from which you can obtain a learner permit. It is compulsory for all motorcyclists that hold a two year learner permit to take a driving test. It is the responsibility of the motorcyclist to ensure they have the correct licence.
Rules of the Road
It is also important to be aware of the rules of the road in relation to travelling on a motorcycle, for example taking care when moving off,when overtaking, making sure the motorcycle is visible etc. It is extremely important to take care when overtaking other vehicles on a motorcycle. To aid this, a motorcycle should have a visible light when being driven by day or night. Travelling at asafe speed and within a distance you can see is vitally important when travelling on a motorcycle. It is also necessary to make sure that tyres on a motorcycle have the necessary thread depth and that the motorcycle is road worthy overall.
As with cars, trucks, vans or any other kind of vehicle, it is illegal to be over any limit in relation to alcohol or drugs while driving a motorcycle. Also, as with other kinds of vehicles, motorcycle users are obliged to display a tax disc and to insure their motorbike. However, motorbike tax is not generally in the same price range as car tax.On the M50 motorcyclists are exempt from tolls.
It is clear that motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable form of road user. It is necessary for them to be vigilant and attentive at all times when using the road and to ensure that they have met all their legal obligations. Also, vehicle users have a responsibility to be mindful of motorcyclists to ensure that any possible road fatalities are prevented.
Be safe, be seen!