Can I go out on my motorcycle during Step 1? [Updated Government Guidance for England]

Can I go out on my motorcycle during Step 1? [Updated Government Guidance for England]

This was published on the 29/03/21. Please note this is for England only.

Introduction

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Therefore, if you like the page, the updates will show up in your newsfeed.

As I said in my last blog, the law can be a dry subject and the following isn’t exactly a light, entertaining read. My apologies for that, but I hope it assists fellow bikers.

“National Lockdown” has ended

As of the 29/03/21, England is no longer in a “National Lockdown.” Further, tiers have not come back into force in England. There is new law. Instead, we now have four “Steps” to progress. Step 1 came into force on the 29/03/21.

The second, third and fourth “steps” should hopefully (this could change depending on what occurs with the infection rate) happen on the 12/04/21, 17/05/21 and 21/06/21 respectively.

Therefore I shall focus on Step 1 in this blog as it has actually come into force today..

Step 1 and Riding Your Motorbike

As of today (29/03/21) it is possible to leave your house and ride your motorbike just for fun, so long as you comply with the law.

Whilst the new legislation is a huge document which I discuss this further below. But to summarise for the “average biker”, you can now go out for a ride, just for fun, if you want to. You can even do this with five of your friends (so six in total) each on their own motorbike. And you can all stop in one public place and stand outside to have a chat.

We are not “out of the woods yet”

Life is not back to normal yet. The new legislation is over 40,000 words so I have given the above scenario for the “average biker” I speak to everyday.

However, there will be more scenarios than I can imagine or can write about here. There are still “Restrictions on gatherings”. As such, if you have a particular “unusual” scenario, do not just chance it. I advise you check the law carefully to see how it applies to your particular situation.

Where to check the legal position

It’s important to remember that the Guidance isn’t law. However, like the Highway Code, many of the rules in the Guidance are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence.

If you want to read the new law that came into force on the 29/03/21 you can find it at:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/364/made

If you want to read the Up-to-date Government Guidance (please note this keeps being updated) for England, this can be found at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do#summary-what-you-can-and-cannot-do-during-the-national-lockdown

My opinion

There has been a continuous message of “stay in your local area”. As of the 29/03/21, there is nothing in the actual law that I have seen that says I cannot ride as far as I want to in England.

Therefore, for example, if I want to get on my motorbike and ride to Brighton just to look at the sea, I can.

The Law is new and untested

I need to stress this is my legal opinion based on law that is new. Further, that law has had no chance to be scrutinised by the Courts. As such, I accept there are always legal arguments to be had based on different scenarios and legal interpretations.

Police

You will always find a story about a policeman who made a wrongful arrest etc – after all that makes headlines.

In the last year, their job has been even more difficult because the law has changed every few weeks/months and there have been well publicised cases of them getting it wrong. However, if you get stopped, my advice is stay calm and don’t kick off. Polite, reasonable behaviour usually results in polite, reasonable behaviour in return.

Law and morals

To state the obvious, the law and an individual’s morals are different things. I’m not here to preach, but simply lay out the updated law and focus on whether you can ride your motorbike or not. As the dreaded Covid-19 crisis continues to evolve, so too does the law in an attempt to get a grip of the pandemic.

Conclusion

We all have a role to play in this pandemic but I’m not going to preach about what anyone should do. I for one will continue to ride my motorbike for work and to go shopping etc. I will also now ride with a few friends (both on the road and on the “trails”) and stop for the obligatory chin wag.

Be safe

Andrew Prendergast – Managing Partner

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Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Last modified: March 29, 2021 at 3:28 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.
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.
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