This is a photo of me performing an act which could be illegal in every state of Australia … and I dare the police to issue me with a traffic infringement notice.
It seems that riders are not allowed to stand while riding a motorcycle, even though it is a common and safe practice on bumpy roads and dirt roads. At least that is the interpretation of the rules by the Queensland Police in response to recent issues about the correct use of foot pegs, handlebars and motorcycle seats.
A Brisbane rider was recently fined $146 for taking a foot off the foot pegs to stretch his leg. READ THE STORY HERE.
Meanwhile, the Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has admitted he does it and a police officer who was photographed this week stretching his leg will not be fined. READ THE STORY HERE.
The Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management—RoadRules) Regulation 2009 on riding motorbikes states: The rider of a motorbike that is moving (other than a rider who is walking beside and pushing a motorbike), or the rider of a motorbike that is stationary but not parked, must— (a) sit astride the rider’s seat facing forwards; and (b) ride with at least 1 hand on the handlebars; and (c) if the motorbike is moving—keep both feet on the footrests designed for use by the rider of the motorbike.
The rule was introduced by the previous Labor Government as part of a crackdown on hoons and is also rule 271 in the Australian Road Rules February 2012 version which means it affects every Australian rider.
However, it fails to address common safety issues for riders such as the ability to stretch a leg to reduce cramping and standing on the foot pegs to avoid being thrown from the bike on rough surfaces. In the current hardline stance on motorcycle riders, this is now an issue for all riders.
Therefore, MotorbikeWriter sought clarification from the police on “sitting astride” since the word “astride” means having a leg on either side and doesn’t mention anything about your butt touching a seat. However, this is the response from Queensland Police Media: “The interpretation of ‘sitting astride’ implies that the rider is seated on the seat of the motorcycle and has one leg on either side of the motorcycle. Coupled with the other subsections of Section 271 of TORUM Road Rules Regulation 2009 to the letter of the law, it requires a rider to be seated with both feet on the foot-pegs facing forward. “The enforcement of this section is clearly circumstantially based with both the letter and the intent of the legislation being taken into account. “Each case being taken on its merits including considerations as to the use of discretion as it relates to this offence and or others that may have been committed at the same time.”
We put it to Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson earlier this week that these rules need to be changed, but his media adviser, Stephanie Shield, says he is on holidays until next week and that they currently have no plans to review the rules. READ THE STORY HERE.
We also included Stephanie’s email address, but she has now advised us that the best course of action is to address any concerns directly to the department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephanie kindly assured us that the many emails she has already received from MotorbikeWriter readers will be forwarded to that website. However it is important that you include your postal address or the email will not be accepted.
“Anything that goes through to that email address is then sent to the department for an official response,” she says.
Stephanie also promised that the Minister’s policy adviser will reply to MotorbikeWriter next week on this issue. We eagerly await that call.
This is simply the start of a process of clearing up this hazy issue and addressing hastily written bad laws that prevent riders from riding in a safe and appropriate manner.
Meanwhile, if the police want to fine me for my behaviour in these photographs, they know where to find me. We should all stand up (pun intended) on this issue.