Archive for July, 2007
Our man Paul is a mad keen biker, and takes a keen interest in the legal issues affecting bikers. Here’s his take on the recent change in case law which affects fault liability in the event of an accident while filtering through traffic.
I should point out that, as far as I know, Paul is not a lawyer, and his post does not constitute legal advice, so don’t rely on this blog in court, please!
FREE BEER FREE BEER
Now I’ve got your attention there is some information that I think you all should know about, now this may make me a little unpopular in some circles, but hey, here at Bikesure we think that you as our customers should have all the facts available to you,
In the past if a biker who was involved in a collision while filtering through stationary or slow moving traffic they were automatically found to be at least 80% at fault under a judgment called Powell v Moody 1966, then in 1972 a case Leeson v Bevis and Tolchard moved the proportion of blame to 50/50.
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
New case 2006, an appeal court ruling, Davis v Shrogin, means that if a rider filtering through crawling or stationary traffic cannot be to blame if the rider had no chance to take avoiding action.
Filtering collision cases are normally dealt with by the county court, which must look to the court of appeal for guidance, so they’re going to have to abide by it, BUT while filtering past moving traffic is still technically illegal – at low speed a judge would never find that, but as the speed goes up it depends on his/her discretion.
Now there is no specific mention of filtering in the highway code, so all road users should read the rules on overtaking, being a bit vague and open to personal interpretation like most laws of the land. So, in my view, slow filtering is fine, but passing cars at 60/70 clearly isn’t. The mid-point in between is a grey area so please be careful,
I think that’s about all for now,
4-2 no these are not the Football Scores
What is going on!!!!.
Motorcycles = less congestion on the road, lower pollution/CO2 emissions, cheaper to run/maintain and being loads more fun but to get your bike licence as of October 2008 you will have to take 4, Yes 4 tests, Test 1, CBT, Test 2, Theory, Test 3, NEW OFF ROAD TEST, Test 4, Finally on road test, BUT you must pass the new off road test before being able to proceed to the on road test.
Yet at the age of 17 you take 2 tests to receive your full car licence, Test 1, theory, Test 2, On road test, and once you have passed you will be able to jump in to any car that is in production.
How about a bit of common sense here, how about making CBTs compulsory on ALL tests after all we all know the first thing a car driver says at the scene of any accident is SMIDSY, If the CBT was mandatory at least they would have some idea what the perils faced by bikers are on a day to day basis and hopefully be a bit more aware of bikes.
Lets put things into comparison at the moment at the age of 17 once you have passed your full bike test you are able to ride ANY BIKE RESTRICTED TO 33bhp for 2 years. After 2 years you are able to ride any bike you can afford to buy & insure.
At the age of 17 once you have passed your car test you are able to drive ANY car that is on the road (so if you have a rich daddy you can theoretically jump into his Porsche 911 turbo).
Now how much more sensible would it be if new drivers were restricted to cars not exceeding say 1200cc for at least 2 years, especially as 17 year olds have 25% more car claims than motorcycles/mopeds.
If by some chance you have not heard about or seen the new proposed off road test a copy is shown below, To accommodate this new test, new SUPER TEST CENTRES are being built, if your instructors do not have access to a suitable area to train you for this they can hire the test course subject to no tests being taken at time and also availability and subject to price, (HMMM more expense) or am I being to cynical?
The New Test Content
Motorcycle Manoeuvring – Left Circuit
1. On and off the stand
2. Wheel the machine
4. Figure of eight
5. 30 kph circuit ride
6. 50 kph avoidance
7. Controlled stop
9. Slow ride
10. 30 kph circuit ride
11. 50 kph emergency brake
Any way that’s about all for now,
Another biking virgin gets a taste of two wheels, courtesy of Bikesure. Well, we think that as a bike insurer, all our staff should understand how bikes are different from cars, and, crucially, get some experience in the saddle, so we pay for their CBT training. Here’s Grant’s experience, in his own words:
Now i was a little nervous going into it in the first place as the only time I have ever been on a bike was on the back of a Yamaha WR250 on a field doing 90mph ( all legal of course ) about 7 years ago, so my bike experience was about as relevant as Pat Sharp’s Mullet!
I pulled up to the CBT place in my car and saw the mean machine of a Suzuki GS125 that i would soon mount. We went through the pre-match run of safety and laws and so on. Stuck a helmet on and one of those ear pieces that makes me look like a bouncer, yea all 5’9″ of me and a protective jacket.
Now i always had assumed that we spend the first part of the test in a playground or car park getting to know that bike and how it handles…did we….did we bugger!
Right follow me says the instructor. I’m sorry!? Follow you? What…on the road??? “How does this bloody thing work?” I asked myself, but before I knew it we were off. It was brilliant, I felt awesome, I thought I was going so fast, wind blowing, engine screaming… all that at 30mph.
Then comes our first set of traffic lights. They go red… i wait… they go green… I STALL!!
“S**t!” I said, I’m turning the keys, pressing the horn, phoning the police – everything – and then my ear piece suddenly perks up and I hear “Just press the electric start.” Oh yeah.
“Right!!” I said, “I’m not stalling this time.” By now, the masses of cars are behind and then a bus pulls alongside and everyone is looking. I couldn’t really hide with fluorescent yellow jacket. So now I had a crowd all waiting to watch me pull off with ease (ed: To watch you what?!) So the lights go green, I rev up and dump the clutch, I swear the front wheel was about 2cm off the ground. Oh yeah! My first wheelie and the crowd in the bus went wild!!!
Next we were taken to a car park and asked to do a figure of 8. I thought I was going to fall off, but managed OK and even did an emergency stop! I thought I was the bo^*ox right now!
Anyway, 2 stalls later, we were doing 50mph down country roads I was loving it, though I did get told off for leaning into bends with my shoulder. “Lean with your hips,” I was told over the airwaves, little sinister laugh!
We did a lot of town riding and kept getting cut up by taxis. Those guys!!!! That started to get annoying but our instructor was already one step ahead. I finally realised one of the best things about bikes was the ability to overtake taxis in a traffic jam. It was the best feeling ever – sad I know – but just sailing past the cars kicked ass!!
So we pulled back into the CBT place and it was over. I loved it. I really wouldnt mind getting a bike – I mean £15 for tax and a much cheaper alternative to short little trips in a car. I only have to convince “the wife” that its a good idea, but it’s opened my mind a little more to the world of bikers and I liked it.
So next time you see a learner stalling at traffic lights, when you have finished laughing, spare a thought!
Grant “ring me for a quote”, “cheese on toast” Varnham
On the night of 20/06/2007, a quiz night was held in the grounds of Flux. It was a prestigious event in which at least 20 teams of around 4-5 members competed against each other in a battle of general knowledge.
Bikesure staff were involved in three different teams but there was one team which really did show their true worth, my team. The Arsehole of Flux. There was a bit of drama right at the last minute before the event. Two of our members dropped out Charlie and Faye (quite clearly not team players). Thankfully two other members from the bikesure team stepped up to the plate. Richard “The Horn” Rowsell and Ros “The Horn’s Missus” Hindry. So the dream team consisted me, the Captain Kyle “Minty McMint” Benefer, Grant “Cheese on Toast” Varnham, “Ginger” Jon Mellish, and the pre mentioned Richard and Ros.
So the scene is set, the dream team is at full strength. We had a combined general knowledge similar to a small principality so things were looking good. We strolled into the quiz marquee, almost reminiscent of the Reservoir Dogs scene, apart from the guns and the blood stained shirts. They weren’t needed on this occasion.
As we all settled down to begin the quiz, the tension was slowly increasing to boiling point. Quiz master Paul Twite was getting the punters going by banging out a usual set of poor jokes based around extracting the urine from some of the better known staff members. Then it came, the moment of truth, the first round. There were six rounds all consisting of twleve questions. Each team was given a “joker” which gave you double points for the one round you decided to play it in.
The first round was on music. A lot of teams played their joker in this round. The Arsehole of Flux held back the temptation to play their joker here, and some would say it was a wise choice. This round came and went and from memory we got 10/12 questions right, so a good solid start.
The second and third rounds passed, and there was an update on the standings, we were sitting pretty in joint third place. There was a very positive attitude in team, happy with our progress so far. We all would have been pleased with a podium finish. We were then handed a bonus round, which consisted of recognising lyrics from certain songs. We done ok in this round about 9/12.
Now for the fifth round, the forth round wasn’t very important. We played our Joker in this round, the subject was tv and film. We played a blinder. All twelve questions right, and as we played the joker in this round we got 24 points for the round. This bumped us up into the top two. What a result!
The final round was in the style of “Guess The Intro”. We got 11/12, the only one we didn’t get was 2000 miles by The Pretenders. What a rubbish song, never liked it anyway. Chrissie Hynde gets on my nerves as well.
And that was it. The end of the final round, just left the totting up of each teams points and for the final standings to be revealed. The results were read out in reverse order, and the general idea from our table was a top 5 finish would be a good result. So when it got to the top three and our name had still not been mentioned we thought that third was excelent, but to our surprise still no Arsehole of Flux, we just assumed that we had missed our name further down the list. What was even more surprising is that were in joint first place. If only we got the 2000 miles question right, I hate Chrissie Hynde so much.
So to settle things there was tiebreaker question. The all important question was “According to Ask.com, how many islands are there in the Maldives?”. The nearest answer would win. Of course an island in the Maldives consists of and lump of sand protruding out of the sea. my first thought was there can’t be more than a hundred or so. No one else had any other bright ideas and so went for the answer of 130. The other team involved guessed at 2000. No one had a clue who was right, but it wasn’t us. The answer was 1300. Gutted we were just one zero out from the right answer.
We went out gallant runners up. Still got £20 each in prize money, so not all bad.