We path riders are an odd-looking bunch. There are lads (and I take advantage of the time period advisedly) rocking full MX package with physique armour, others in tender and comfortable Journey boots and a battered street jacket with ex-MoD waterproofs, for particular Events, and all seems in between. Mad Max to a badly stuffed couch nearly covers the vary of package I see on the paths.
The regulation has remarkably little to say about the way you costume however the way you shield your eyes does have a little bit of regulation connected – however it’s largely unpoliced. I do sometimes get pulled up by readers for my pragmatic software of the regulation, so I’ll let you know what the regulation is, what I do and the results of taking a practical view of what works on the paths and what the regulation says.
At its easiest, you don’t want to put on any eye safety, however in case you do it MUST meet both British Commonplace BS4110:1999 or “one other commonplace accepted by an EEA State” and that is unlikely to vary anytime quickly, Brexit however. So a kite-marked visor is your solely acceptable type of eye safety.
I’ve about 4 units goggles – both Oakley or Thor. Not one has a BS kitemark. I could be incorrect as a result of I’ve not appeared that tough however I don’t assume MX goggles have kite marks. Mine don’t. If I journey in goggles, I’m breaking the regulation.
Goggles want to fulfill a separate commonplace – BS EN 1938. Any non-compliant type of eye safety comes underneath the class of no factors and most £50 wonderful.
I choose to journey in goggles on the paths. I’ve my favorite colored set which are perfect for using the beech woods in my space, and if I’m prone to be coming dwelling at midnight, I carry a transparent pair. I’ve by no means had the slightest curiosity proven in my goggles from any police officer. Driving in non-BS authorised eyewear won’t invalidate your insurance coverage until there’s a particular clause in your insurance coverage – if there’s such a clause let me know as a result of I’ve by no means seen one!
So, it’s a rule I’m glad to interrupt on two grounds. The primary is that using dusty lanes in a visor is prone to impair your eyesight. Secondly, if I’m doing something technical, particularly on a heavy previous lump just like the 701, I’m going to be getting heat and can steam up the visor. Flip it up? Properly, sure however then I’ve zero eye safety and as I are likely to spend the summer season with bramble scratches over the small little bit of my nostril that’s uncovered from about late March to October, I don’t wish to replicate these scratches on my eyeballs.
So what about one other tried and examined methodology? An everyday clear visor, BS Authorised, and a pair of Screwfix special-offer security specs beneath? Sadly, as unlawful because the non-BS visor. If you’re sporting objects designed to guard your eyes, somewhat than right your imaginative and prescient, they need to meet the related BS. And, clearly, protecting lenses worn on a motorbike with no prescription lenses are designed as safety.
What can be completely authorized, however much less protected than both of the above strategies, can be to haven’t any visor in any respect and a pair of £2.99 market-special sun shades, or your common spectacles in case you put on them. Clearly, you may spear your eye out in a nanosecond however because the sun shades weren’t designed to be protecting (in all probability even of UV) they fall out of the laws. Ahah – so if I put on darkish protecting lenses, can the regulation distinguish these from an inexpensive pair of sun shades? I may assemble an argument that they’ll however no prosecutor would waste his or her time on such a pointless train. They’re busy folks, prosecuting kiddy fiddlers, burglars and drink drivers.
I’ve tried all of the techniques. Within the winter, I journey in an ADV helmet with a pair of ‘glad yellow’ security specs underneath my clear and authorized visor.
In the summertime, or if I do know I’m doing technical trails, an MX lid with no matter goggles I believe will work finest is my alternative. Each these techniques fall out of the ambit of strict legality however then once more so is dealing with a salmon or an eel in suspicious circumstances, but that doesn’t trouble the police a lot exterior salmon poaching areas nor does it limit me within the fish part at Lidl.
Returning to my Mad Max unique statement, in case you are trying imply, moody and sumptuous in your iridium black goggles, sporting a quantity plate the dimensions of stamp with a loud pipe burbling and popping on the over-run, you’re prone to appeal to what ever police curiosity could be round. Wanting largely authorized, and using discreetly and courteously, means a lot much less police consideration.
My expertise of 37 years’ using and 29 years’ lawyering is that cops don’t actually need the work of pulling over legal-looking folks on quiet bikes until some overly braided police bonnet has a recent bee in it.
Path Riders Fellowship Member Journal Summer season 2022