Mr Bump

Mr Bump

My employer has put up a pretty harsh speed bump on a sharp bend going into my work’s car park, is there anything I can do?

Craig Sunderland – by e-mail.

Answer

In short, the answer is yes. Under the Occupiers Liability Act your employer is almost certainly liable to you if you fall off. As you have raised a complaint, he can’t later say that “I never contemplated a motorcyclist could be in danger.”

The physics are simple enough: you ride over a speed bump. The suspension compresses for the bump, then releases when the suspension decompresses, and then the tyres make solid contact with the ground. As the take-up of the suspension means your tyres will go light, they will make contact with the ground again, which you will feel as a bump.

However, at almost any time while you are riding a motorcycle, you are at an angle of lean. Because you have a sharp corner coming up that you will have to make, your front and rear tyres are likely to be at different angles, setting you up nicely for your front wheel to wash out and for you to take a trip to casualty.

Any suggestion that you should push your bike shows how little your employers know about life on bikes. You would be pushing a sportsbike, wearing armoured motorcycle boots, with non-grip soles, potentially in the wet balancing 190kg on your wrists.

The easiest way for your employers to deal with this case is to remove part of the ramp so that you have enough room to get your motorcycle through.

There is an easy solution: just make the ramps with a gap for bikes, both pedal and motor. Speed ramps are also a royal pain in the arse for some wheelchair users as well, especially attendant pushed wheelchairs. That might be worth mentioning, too.

Andrew Dalton

Fast Bikes June 2009 Issue

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Posted on: June 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.