Like loads of bikers nowadays, instead of a sat-nav, I use my smartphone mounted on the handlebars.
I had ridden a couple of hundred miles to visit my cousin and her new born baby and was within striking distance of her house when my phone had a bit of a hissy fit. I pulled over and removed the phone from the handlebars and had it in my hand when some jumped up kid copper pulled up and nicked me.
I told him I wasn’t doing anything illegal as I wasn’t making a call but trying to find out where I was on Google maps. He reckons because I was still astride my SV650, engine running and phone in hand, I was in fact breaking the law and gave me a fixed penalty offer.
I told him I would see him in court. The smarmy kid laughed and said he’d see me there! Now I’m all for nicking people on phones while they’re driving as it’s dangerous but I’ve done nothing wrong.
I’ve been a teacher for 30 years and am a great public speaker. Do you agree I will teach the kid a lesson in court?
The short answer is no. Being a teacher and a great public speaker will not help you I’m afraid. Not even being royalty will help as you have in fact broken the law.
If you had turned off the engine and got off the bike to hold and look at the map on your phone then there would have been no issue. However, as the law states it’s illegal to hold a phone to perform “an interactive communication function by transmitting and receiving data” i.e. looking at Google maps while riding or driving, the policeman, is legally correct.
My advice is accept the fixed penalty offer of £200 and six points. It will be cheaper and quicker.
Disclaimer: The legal advice and statements contained within this/these articles is correct at the time of printing. If you are seeking legal advice after a motorbike accident please contact us to speak directly with one of our lawyers.
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.
About Motorcycle Monthly
The MCM legal column is compiled by managing partner Andrew 'Chef' Prendergast and his bike-riding barristers and solicitors at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors.
The firm deals with personal injury claims and its sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deals with all the motoring offences.
White Dalton lawyers have a vast knowledge of bike law, and they have full bike licences, too. They don’t act for insurance companies or the prosecution.
White Dalton is Britain’s premier specialist motorcycle law practice, and if its professionals don’t know the answer to your question, there probably isn’t one. Don’t rely on the advice from your insurance appointed solicitor, get proper independent advice.