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When I left home the sun was shining so I duly put on my lid with my black tinted visor (race-use only). However, I got held up and by the time I was wandering home the sun had long disappeared. I was two turns from home when someone stumbled out of the local pub and into the road. Unfortunately I didn’t see him and knocked him over.

Thankfully, he was okay but the impact smashed my fairing. The police decided not to take any action but said they could have done me for driving with out due care and attention for riding with a black tinted visor at night. The cheek of it! If the local yocal hadn’t been drunk I wouldn’t have hit him. Can I make a claim?

Answer

You could bring a claim but you will not win 100% on liability because first and foremost you were riding at night with a black tinted visor only meant for the track. The court will likely find you were partially to blame as you couldn’t see as well as you could have done with a clear and legal visor.

In addition, the court may well find that you, as a rider, should have anticipated drunken people maybe stumbling out of the local pub and you should have been on the lookout. That may sound harsh but there is a bucket-load of case law on the point and pedestrians often get something with regards to liability even if they appear to have done something stupid.

As an aside, riding with a black tinted visor at night could amount to driving without due care and attention in my view. I say this because your riding did fall ‘below what would be expected of a competent and careful’ rider.

Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly September 2016

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a GSX1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.

2 Comments
  • Alan WoodheadNo Gravatar

    November 26, 2016 at 9:56 am

    I have ridden long ago in the past with dark visors but taken a clear one to change as appropriate, however I forgot said clear visor and found myself riding in the dark. My solution lift up the dark visor and ride slower, after all you can ride a push bike at 30mph without much danger to your eyes.

  • R1 NikNo Gravatar

    November 26, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I find your articles very informative as was your assistance in a case
    I won some years ago.
    Keep up the good work.

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