Have I broken Q the law by not having mirrors?
‘You are not breaking the law if you have no mirrors’
I recently got pulled over by the police and I didn’t have mirrors on my bike when I was stopped. Please can you tell me if I’ve broken the law? I don’t know what to do, I’m due in court next week. KK, by email A The answer to this question can be found in the ever-helpful piece of legislation - The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. According to Construction and Use regulation 33 (1) item 5, there is “no requirement” for “a two-wheeled motorcycle with or without a sidecar attached”.
So, you are not breaking the law if you have one mirror or two or none at all and your case should be dismissed. However, a former motorcycle policeman told me he used to ride behind bikes without mirrors and wait for them to contravene a traffic law and then book them!
If you have mirrors, then to pass an MOT they must be in serviceable condition and work correctly. Although it is not a legal requirement, if you were to be involved in an accident and didn’t have mirrors fitted, your opponent might argue that increases your liability and a court might agree.
I am not aware that this has ever been tested in court but I can easily imagine it being argued. A bit like if your tyres were below the legal tread threshold if this played a part in the accident, although clearly that would be a stronger argument for your opponent.