I have owned a Royal Enfield Bullet 500 with Watsonian Manx Sidecar for a number of years and never had any issues… until last week.
I was out with my wife now that ‘spring had sprung’. In typical Enfield style we had gently rumbled through the Cotswolds and had just stopped for a cream tea (I know – we couldn’t get any more English!). The sun was shining and all was well until a very young Mr Plod turned up as my wife climbed out of the sidecar.
At this point he said he was going to fine my wife for not wearing a seatbelt. I politely pointed out there wasn’t a seatbelt by reason of it being a side car. He then said he was also reporting me for carrying an unsecure load. At this point I must admit I laughed at him. However, my wife (being less amused at being called a ‘load’) simply took the paperwork off him.
We politely told him we weren’t paying any fines and had done nothing wrong. With that he said we should expect a court summons and chipped off. I was flabbergasted. I don’t know what to do now. Help!
The majority of police officers are honest and do a good job. However, this absolute dipstick gives them all a bad name. Firstly, unless you are accepting you have done something wrong (which you are not!) I advise you do nothing further at this stage and see if a court summons turns up.
My gut is a grown-up in either the police or the CPS will look at this and throw it in the bin. However, if either of you receive a summons you need to defend it. With regard to a side-car, it is regarded as part of the motorcycle itself and therefore seatbelts do not need to be fitted. As such, your wife will be found not guilty.
As for “carrying an unsecure load” I genuinely have no idea what he is talking about. Defend, defend, defend! As an aside, I wouldn’t dare ever call my wife a ‘load’ unsecure or otherwise!
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.