The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer (well, some of the time anyway!) and like many other bikers my thoughts are turning to getting the bike out of the garage. The bike has been neglected all winter but now is the time to try and find it under all the junk that has piled up during the winter and drag it out to see if it still works!
I make no apologies for being a fair weather biker, though don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration for those bikers who ride all year round! But what will we be facing in those early rides of the spring.
As if it isn’t bad enough to run the gauntlet of fellow road users intent on doing us harm there are the additional risks associated with the deterioration in the road surface over the winter.
Although the last winter has not been as cold as usual it has been much wetter and this has caused deterioration in the surface of many roads. As we all know a pothole or other problem that might cause some damage to a car can cause much more serious problems for someone riding a motorbike.
The highway authority is responsible for the maintenance and repair of our roads and in the case of most roads the highway authority is the local authority. The local authority have an obligation under the Highways Act to inspect, maintain and repair the roads in their area.
The obligation on a local authority under the Highways Act is a complicated one with a built in defence to a claim under certain circumstances. Interestingly, one defence that is not available to a local authority is that they do not have the financial resources to keep the highway in a reasonable state of repair. Even under circumstances where weather conditions have caused a greater deterioration in the road surface than usual the obligation to inspect and repair is still the same regardless of the local authority’s resources.
Take care out there and be particularly vigilant for road defects but if you are unlucky enough to have an accident caused by a defective road surface I’m here to help with advice on a possible claim. Please call me, Ian Wanstall at DMA Law, on 0191 375 3938 and I’ll be happy to discuss your potential claim with you without cost or obligation.
As you would expect the above applies equally if one of our fellow road users has managed to run into you or caused you to part company with your bike. We all know the sort of thing “sorry I didn’t see you” or “I thought you would be able to stop when I pulled out in front of you on that wet road”.
Enough of the negative side of riding a motor bike, let’s hope for a warm dry spring and a long hot summer and many miles of safe riding!