A Cautionary Tale
Please read the following West Kent Watch article before reading the advice given below:
‘Police were called to a road traffic incident at 07:45 on Saturday 21st August 2010 at the junction of Goudhurst Road and Whitewell Lane. A blue Fiat Punto car and a mini-moto motorcycle were involved in a collision which resulted in man riding the bike being injured. The man, who lives locally, was taken by air ambulance to hospital in Essex where he was treated for serious injuries; his condition is now thought to be stable. The road was closed while emergency services dealt with the incident and to allow for the car and bike to be recovered’
Riding mini motos, minibikes or pocket bikes, has become a popular pastime in the UK.
Mini motos are classed as motor vehicles and therefore must comply with road traffic and vehicle tax law.
Capable of travelling at high speeds, with loud engines, mini motos are anti-social and dangerous to both the rider and members of the community if not used responsibly and legally.
Minibikes are frequently ridden on roads and pavements and in other public places such as parks. This is almost always illegal, and, more importantly, is very intimidating and dangerous to pedestrians and residents.
Serious injuries and fatalities can and have resulted from misusing minibikes.
If you are thinking about buying a minibike you should first search online for tracks where you can ride it legally. There are several dual-purpose race and karting tracks in England. As of August 2012 the closest racetrack to Tunbridge Wells is Lydd International Raceway.
Where can minibikes be ridden legally?
On pavements? No. It is illegal to ride minibikes and any other vehicles (including pedal cycles) on the pavement. The only exceptions are mobility scooters which can be ridden on the pavement or the road.
On the road? No. In virtually all cases, it is illegal for minibikes to be ridden on the road. The majority are not manufactured to meet European construction standards.
For any type of minibike to be used legally on roads, not only would it need to meet specific construction standards, but it would also require the following:
- Registration with the DVLA.
- Road tax, and a driver aged 17 or over (16 if the vehicle meets the definition of a moped), with:
- a suitable safety helmet,
- appropriate insurance, and
- a driving licence that authorises the use of that vehicle.
On private land other than an official race track? Yes, but with exceptions. Minibikes can be ridden legally on privately owned land, with permission from the owner, as long as it doesn’t cause harassment, alarm or distress, or a statutory nuisance.
On public land, such as parks, car parks and other open spaces? No.
Minibikes can be seized if ridden on roads and in public places such as parks, common land, pavements, car parks and other open spaces. If a rider fails to stop when requested to do so, they may be prosecuted and fined up to £1,000.
There will always be a minority who have no regard for the law, their own personal safety, or the harassment they are causing. The protection of the community may sometimes depend on the use of tough measures. Other penalties may include:
- Penalty Notice for Disorder (£100)
- Anti-social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
- Parenting Order
- endorsement points or a driving ban on a present or future licence.
- seizure of vehicle
Vehicles can also be seized and crushed if the driver:
- has no insurance, or
- no driving licence, or
- is causing distress or annoyance.
The power to seize and crush vehicles used in a manner that causes alarm, distress or annoyance can be applied to the misuse of any mechanically propelled vehicle.
For this information as a PDF leaflet - see below