Road tentacles

Road tentacles

I was riding on my old CB750k2, and there were some of those rubber tubes across the road that measure the traffic, attached to a metal box chained to a lamppost.

An articulated lorry, coming from the opposite direction, drove over them and I then had the surreal moment of watching the rubber tubes break and fly up into the air. Unfortunately, the giant rubber ‘tentacles’ then snared themselves around my front wheel and even Houdini couldn’t escape from this one – shiny CB down the road, trashed kit and a broken arm. Am I stuffed or can I bring a claim? I have a witness who saw everything.


This is pretty random and scary! You may have a claim against the authority who is responsible for the road that authorised the box and ‘tentacles’ to be installed; or the contractor who fitted it; or the manufacture of the rubber tubes. However, as the claimant you are going to have to prove on the balance of probabilities that someone has done something wrong, for example the rubber tubes were defective or not installed properly. If you can’t do that you are going to struggle.

Practically, your witness will be very important and I strongly advise you go back to the scene and take photographs of everything – road layout, the metal box (which will usually have a sticker of who owns it/manufactures it on the side of it) and the ends of the rubber tubes. I say this, as I once had a case where the defendant alleged the rubber tubes had been cut and we could prove they hadn’t.

Andrew Prendergast

Motorcycle Monthly – February 2014

Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: March 23, 2018 at 4:50 pm

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a ZZR1400 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.


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