Brakes and Braking

The vehicle shall be equipped with an efficient braking system.

This may seem obvious, however, as can be seen below, that is exactly what the law, as written, says. 

What constitutes an efficient braking system can be discovered by following the links in the text and reading through the relevant Directive in which the reader will find the calculations used. The current law on brakes can be found in the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986/1078 as amended. The current version in force is from 2002. These regulations are what are known as secondary legislation and called Statutory Instruments.

Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986/1078
Part II REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CONSTRUCTION, EQUIPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF
VEHICLES
Part B BRAKES
16.— Braking systems of vehicles to which regulation 15 does not apply

(4) Save as provided in paragraph (7), a vehicle of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table shall comply with the requirements shown in column 3 in that item, subject to any exemptions or modifications shown in column 4 in that item, reference to numbers in column 3 being references to the requirements so numbered in Schedule 3
 

ItemClass of Vehicle  Requirements in Schedule 3
  Motorcycle  
9 First used before 1st January 1927 3, and, in the case of three wheeled
vehicles, 16
10 First used on or after 1st January 1927 but
before 1st January 1968
2, 7, and, in the case of three wheeled
vehicles, 16
11 First used on or after 1st January 1968 and not
being a motor cycle to which paragraph (5)
(below) applies.
2, 7, and, in the case of three wheeled
vehicles, 18

(5) Subject to paragraphs (5B) and (6), the braking system of a motorcycle to which this regulation applies and which is:
(a) of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table below; and (b) first used on or after 1st April 1987 and before 22nd May 1995; shall comply with ECE Regulation 13.05, 78 or 78.01[“ or Community Directive 93/14” ] in relation to the category of vehicles specified in that item in column 3.

(5A) Subject to paragraph (6), the braking system of a motor cycle to which this regulation applies and which is:
(a) of a class specified in an item in column 2 of the Table below; and (b) first used on or after 22nd May 1995; shall comply with ECE Regulation 78.01[“ or Community Directive 93/14” ] in relation to the category of vehicles specified in that item in column 3. 

ItemClass of VehicleVehicle Category in ECE
1 Vehicles (without a sidecar attached) with two wheels, an
engine capacity not exceeding 50 cc and a maximum
design speed not exceeding 50 km/h.
L1
2 Vehicles with three wheels (including two-wheeled
vehicles with a sidecar attached) and with an engine
capacity not exceeding 50 cc and a maximum design
speed not exceeding 50 km/h.
L2
3 Vehicles with two wheels (without a sidecar attached) and
with-
(a) an engine capacity exceeding 50 cc, or
(b) a maximum design speed exceeding 50 km/h.
L3
4 Vehicles with two wheels, a sidecar attached and-
(a) an engine capacity exceeding 50 cc, or
(b) a maximum design speed exceeding 50 km/h.
L4
5 Vehicles with three wheels (excluding two-wheeled
vehicles with a sidecar attached) and with—
(a) an engine capacity exceeding 50 cc, or
(b) a maximum design speed exceeding 50 km/h.
L5

 Schedule 3

2 The vehicle shall be equipped with—
(a) one efficient braking system having two means of operation; or
(b) two efficient braking systems each having a separate means of operation.
3 The vehicle shall be equipped with an efficient braking system.
7 The application of any means of operation of a braking system shall not affect or operate
the pedal or hand lever of any other means of operation.

 

As well as the European legislation, in the form of Directive 93/14, there is also the Global Technical Regulation GTRBR-05 which allows all countries to be represented. This makes perfect sense given that most motorcycles bought and sold in Europe come from Japan.

As can be seen from the above, the way that the law is written is complex and it comes from various sources; Global, European and finally a UK Statutory Instrument. However, once all the legalese is
stripped away, what applies is that “The vehicle shall be equipped with an efficient braking system”.

Should you find yourself in court for a construction and use offence, make sure you have a legal representative who has an in depth knowledge of the relevant law.

OFFENCES

It is an offence to ride a motorcycle in a public place with a braking system that does not meet the standards laid down in the relevant regulation. Code CU 10.

PENALTIES

  • 3pts endorseable on licence.
  • Discretionary fine. 

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