Have I bro­ken Q the law by not hav­ing mir­rors?

‘You are not break­ing the law if you have no mir­rors’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

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.

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