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Biker safety stuck in second gear

16th July 2010 Print

Many of the UK’s 1.4 million moped and motorbike riders could be breaking the law without even knowing it, after a new study into biker road safety by Post Office Motorcycle Insurance revealed a lack of awareness over road laws and licence limitations.

The study revealed that the most confusion surrounded passenger carrying, which is actually illegal for those with a provisional licence. Despite this 40 per cent of provisional licence holders said they have carried a passenger at some point - even though 88 per cent know it is an illegal act.

In addition more than one in five (21 per cent) of those riding large engine motorcycles admitted that they are only licensed to ride small bikes and mopeds, which could not only have implications on their road safety, but could also invalidate their insurance, should they need to make a claim.

Given how many don’t have the proper licence for their motorcycle, it is worrying that riders of larger engine bikes also admit to being the most reckless. Fourteen per cent have driven significantly over the speed limit (by 10 MPH or more) in the last month compared to just five per cent of small engine riders. Similarly, more have crossed the ‘stop’ line at traffic lights whilst the red or amber light is showing, and 20 per cent have crossed the centre road line to overtake someone compared to 16 per cent of small engine riders.

The over 55s report to having the most accidents on the roads, with 16 per cent having been involved in an accident in the last month. The safest age group turned out to be the 35-44s, where only one in 10 had been in an accident in the last month.

Being safely attired on a motorbike or moped is the safest way to minimise damage during an incident - a message which is particularly relevant for the five per cent of 18-24 year women who said they ride their motorcycle or moped in high heels. On the lighter side 82 per cent of total riders believed it to be illegal to wear red whilst driving (which is actually incorrect).

Post Office Head of Motorcycle Insurance, Gerry Barrett said: "Now summer is finally here, being on a motorbike or moped could certainly be the coolest way to travel -in more ways than one. However, before taking to the roads we are urging bikers to check their licence and re-familiarise themselves with road laws. Checking they are properly insured will also help - especially in the event of any mishaps that cause damage to their bike or someone else’s vehicle."

To find out more about Post Office Motorcycle Insurance, or any other Post Office insurance product, visit