We have had a few incidents where motorcyclists have had a minor prang and instead of getting a certificate of insurance matching a number plate, they get some weirdly drafted piece of quasi legalistic nonsense bearing the ‘seal’ of the ‘Common Law Court’ purporting to be a bond served on the Secretary of State for Transport which is said to be a £4,000,000 bond to stand in place of insurance.

Too much time on ‘net

It also purports to demand the Secretary of State for Transport officially reject the bond or otherwise it will be deemed recognised. The ‘bond’ refers to some uniform code – clearly not UK legislation – and has the look of an official document, drafted by someone who spends too much time on the internet.

I am told by police officers that they are picking up uninsured vehicles and vehicles with false number plates whose drivers are convinced that as a matter of some kind of universal law (which may be called common law by its adherents, albeit it has no basis in common law as most lawyers would define it) that as they have not consented to, in this case, the Road Traffic Act 1988 they are not governed by it.

The adherents to this imaginary quasi legal system tend to have their cars impounded and eventually destroyed by the police under the actual rather than fantasy powers of the police, but the motorcyclist is left either using their fully comprehensive cover or running uninsured losses through the uninsured drivers’ scheme of the MIB.

The logic here, which bears no relationship to actual law in just about any jurisdiction, bases itself on a philosophical point that as a person has not recognised the authority of the state to force them into having a licence or more commonly insurance, then the person declares themselves free of such obligation. In the law of the United Kingdom, drivers and riders of powered two wheelers use the roads by ‘licence’ not right. However, the ‘logic’ is a fluid thing, and appears to be a hotchpotch of US state level jurisdictional points on what constitutes ‘driving’ – of no application outside of the US state. The moment you need a licence, which is another way to say pennission to use the highways, and to interact with members of the public on roads and open spaces either paid for by the state or open to the public, Parliament has made law which says you must be licensed and insured on a road legal vehicle. Citing some ancient and dubious authority from a first instance court in Butt Creek, Indiana is not much help in Leicestershire.

Odd piece of paper

So, if you are involved in an accident and an odd piece of paper is produced you need to be getting the police involved as the vehicle is uninsured and the holder of some quasi-legalistic gibberish is not only uninsured but also may well be ‘uttering as false instrument’ contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act.

Andrew Dalton

Bike Magazine June 2023