Q Can driv­ers stick a sat­nav any­where?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - LIFE ON BIKES - So­lic­i­tor and au­thor of the MCN Law col­umn for the last ten years Visit www.bikelawyer.co.uk or email an­[email protected] or call 01446 794169 An­drew Camp­bell

Could you tell me the rules about plac­ing af­ter­mar­ket sat­navs in cars? I see them any­where on wind­screens, in­clud­ing block­ing the driver’s view. Yes­ter­day I passed a driver with the de­vice at eye-level right in front of her face! It seems that there are no rules to pro­tect other road users from a driver who buys a unit and then sticks it wher­ever they like. They can eas­ily ob­scure a biker along with any­thing of our size and must prove a dan­ger. Is there no leg­is­la­tion?

James, email

AThere are no reg­u­la­tions that I know about that re­fer specif­i­cally to the place­ment of sat­nav equip­ment, but I think the fol­low­ing are rel­e­vant. Firstly, Sec­tion 40A Road Traf­fic Act 1988 as amended by Road Traf­fic Act 1991:

“A per­son is guilty of an of­fence if he uses, causes or per­mits an­other to use a mo­tor ve­hi­cle [or trailer] on a road when: the con­di­tion of the mo­tor ve­hi­cle [or trailer], or of its ac­ces­sories or equip­ment, or the pur­pose for which it is used, or the num­ber of pas­sen­gers car­ried by it, or the man­ner in which they are car­ried, or the weight, po­si­tion or dis­tri­bu­tion of its load, or the man­ner in which it is se­cured, is such that the use of the mo­tor ve­hi­cle [or trailer] in­volves a dan­ger of in­jury to any per­son.”

Or Reg­u­la­tion 100(1) the Road Ve­hi­cle Con­struc­tion and Use Reg­u­la­tions 1986 which says the same thing but at­tracts a lesser penalty.

‘The sat­nav was at eye-level right in front of the driver’

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