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Fine me for standing up while riding a motorcycle

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.
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.
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.KTM 1190 Adventure
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.
KTM 1190 AdventureWe 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
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.

  1. So, according to the letter of the law, when I am travelling at less than 10 km/h, I must keep both feet on the pegs even though I need then down to balance?

  2. Victoria is not exactly a high standard to hold up when it comes to motorcycling related issues, but I distinctly remember standing up on the pegs being recommended in the rider’s handbook down here as the correct way to handle certain bumpy conditions. It’s there in black and white on page 55 of the second part of the handbook –

    I can only hope Queensland’s current stance means that they intend to maintain the quality of all roads in the state – tarmac, dirt and forest trail – to such a high standard that a rider never needs to stand on the pegs for their own safety.

    What an embarrassment.

  3. Well said…

    Last Friday I took 2 photos of an officer Standing up one handed slowing down from 100kmh to 40kmh…Not illegal is it but we would be fined.
    Also a pic of him avoiding a roadworks que and entering the emergency lane to get ahead.
    Also saw him do alot worse but no pics.

    Just gets me that there is a set of what seams to be no rules where we are continually paying for them.


  4. Surely these rules apply to riding on a sealed public road, not in the bush, the outback or a neglected gravel road. I stand when I feel that control of the bike warrants that I do so. And this is a riding practice that is taught by Stay Upright and many others.

  5. Firstly, thank you for taking on these issues.
    I do a lot of long distance touring and have always stood up when approaching/entering towns to make sure my legs are ready for when I get off the bike. So something that I have learnt over my 40 years of riding is now illegal. Sad. I’ll have to pay the fines as falling over when stopping is not an option.

  6. Well said Mark, there are times when standing on the foot pegs or stretching out a leg or legs is to ease cramping when riding is necessary. It seems these ever increasing ridiculous laws are being thought up and forced upon riders and all road users, and there seems no other reason but revenue raising. Take the $300.00 plus fines issued for passing stationary or slow traffic in the left emergency lane for instance. When will sanity prevail that will allow people to use common sense in situations. A lot of current legislated rules need to be overhauled and many thrown out. We need to get Practical people with common sense into these decision making positions.

  7. This is ridiculous. Do you ever need to take the inside foot off the peg when going around a corner on a dirty road or slippery road and put it out in front for balance like a dirt bike rider? This is pretty common also.

  8. Interesting. Just got back from a 850km ADV ride on the weekend. On many of the roads in Southern Queensland & Northern NSW there is no option but to stand, or on some corners use a modified MX technique to get around safely whilst maintaining a reasonable cornering speed on a big bore ADV bike (requiring a foot off a peg). The biggest danger is not too few points of contact on the bike, but poor roads & inattentive road users. Get real Qld Police, you are losing the PR war badly…

  9. The constant ridiculous enforcement of trivial laws by the QLD Police really needs to stop. Has QLD gone mad?? I don’t understand what they hope to achieve other than contempt and resentment from the general motoring public, this will do nothing.
    Here’s hoping that common sense will win the day. A NSW lady motorcyclist

  10. If I may, might I suggest that everyone who wishes to write to these people to consider sitting down and putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, write the letter then mail it off.

    When government ministers, MPs and departmental personnel (and electoral staff) get inundated with paper mail it takes far more resources to deal with the correspondance than it is to receive an email, sort it into a category, compose a form letter response and bulk email them back.

    Paper mail requires each and every envelope to be opened, letter extracted and read. Then the mail has to be dealt with via a written response, placed into an envelope, stamped or franked then mailed out.

    Petitions are worse. Only one response is required, whether there are 100 or 100,000 signatures on it.

    Do the paper mail thing. Make these people work and to earn their living.



  11. This rule was not introduced by ‘the previous Labor government’.

    It has in fact been a rule for some considerable time and can be seen detailed in s89(4) and s90 of the old Qld Traffic Regulation 1962 as administered under the Qld Traffic Act 1949.
    The rule may go back further than this but I have not explored any further as yet.

    The later versions of the regulations have simply been worded to align with the Australian Road Rules.

  12. So, in the interests of balance and fairness, maybe QLD police will apply the same rigour to prosecuting:
    drivers without both hands on the wheel at all times;
    passengers with their hands or feet protruding from windows;
    police personnel driving through heavy traffic whilst operating hand held mobile devices;
    ipod or headphone equipped pedestrians who cross the road without first looking;
    delivery drivers without seatbelts;
    mobility scooter operators performing all manner of illegal &/or suicidal acts;
    or unhelmeted riders of mountain bikes fitted with RM80 engines and no muffler?
    We can but hope.
    At least they’d be too busy to bother us riders for a while 🙂

  13. Stumbled upon this article after I just recently got a ticket for stretching my legs after coming off the highway and into a slow 50 kmh zone. My ticket is “ride motorcycle in incorrect position” $101, Sad part is the officer who gave me the ticket is a motorcyclist himself and have seen him on group rides doing exactly what he ticketed me for. Im in NSW.

    I always stretch my legs after being on the highway (sport bike) as I want my legs to be working and not cramped when its time for me to pull up and not fall over from a leg that is asleep.

      1. I already asked for the ticket to be reviewed, and I got the response that after reviewing the video tape from the car, that the officer had the right to give me the ticker and I would have to take this to court if I wanted to fight it.

        Here is my problem, I work in the mines (fly in fly out) and if the court date falls on a week where I am working this $101 ticket will cost me 30 times what its worth just to pay it and forget it.

        That’s the problem with these petty fines, they know 95% of people just pay the fine as its not worth the time out of there life, its a battle the public will never win. I know if we “ALL” took every petty fine to court this would sure shake the system up a bit, but lets be honest with ourselves, that’s not going to happen.

        Safe riding guys.

  14. I knew this would be a Labour party bright idea. Why aren’t these people held accountable for ill conceived & irresponsible governing. This is a safety issue & could well lead to a dire outcome. Hopefully the current regime will reverse this law Australia wide quickly before someone pays the ultimate price..

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