Can motorbikes speed through average speed cameras? Six laws you might be breaking on a bike

If you've ever sat in traffic while a blur of motorbikes whiz past you, you could be forgiven for wondering how they get away with it.

A motorbike in Leeds
A motorbike in Leeds

On the other hand, you may be riding through the streets of Yorkshire each day, unaware of these motorbike laws, regulations - and myths.

1. 'Motorbikes can't be caught by average speed cameras because their number plates aren't picked up, so I can speed...'

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Speed camera locations in Leeds this weekWith average speed cameras, it's not about the speed you travel through the camera, it's about the speed you travel at between two points.

A motorbike in Leeds

So, for example, in a 50mph speed zone, if you travel at 60mph for 30 seconds, and then travel at 40mph for 30 seconds, you will average 50mph, and shouldn't get a ticket. This is to stop people slowing down for a traditional camera and then immediately speeding up. If you're generally breaking the limit between the two cameras, it will catch you.

There is a little bit of truth in that it's harder to get motorbikes. Some average speed cameras only have a forward-facing camera, so motorbikes with only a rear number plate can't be flashed.

However, to get around this, many average speed cameras now have a rear-facing camera as well, specifically to catch motorbikes. So you could well end up with a ticket - and there's no way of knowing which speed cameras have a rear-facing camera.

Similarly, there have been tales from police who have seen motorbikes scream through average speed cameras on a regular basis - and simply positioned a patrol car on the route to catch them red-handed instead.

A motorbike in Leeds

All the roads affected by roadworks this week2. Wearing a helmet (unless you're Sikh)

According to the Highway Code: On all journeys, the rider and pillion passenger on a motorcycle, scooter or moped MUST wear a protective helmet.

"Helmets MUST comply with the Regulations and they MUST be fastened securely. Riders and passengers of motor tricycles and quadricycles, also called quadbikes, should also wear a protective helmet. Before each journey check that your helmet visor is clean and in good condition.

"This does not apply to a follower of the Sikh religion while wearing a turban."

3. Wearing eye protectors

The Highway Code also says: "It is also advisable to wear eye protectors, which MUST comply with the Regulations.

"Scratched or poorly fitting eye protectors can limit your view when riding, particularly in bright sunshine and the hours of darkness. Consider wearing ear protection. Strong boots, gloves and suitable clothing may help to protect you if you are involved in a collision."

4. Carry only one passenger

You MUST NOT carry more than one pillion passenger, who MUST sit astride the machine on a proper seat.

They should face forward with both feet on the footrests. You MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger unless your motorcycle is designed to do so. Provisional licence holders MUST NOT carry a pillion passenger.

5. Make yourself visible

Daylight riding. Make yourself as visible as possible from the side as well as the front and rear. You could wear a light or brightly coloured helmet and fluorescent clothing or strips. Dipped headlights, even in good daylight, may also make you more conspicuous. However, be aware that other vehicle drivers may still not have seen you, or judged your distance or speed correctly, especially at junctions.

6. Filtering through traffic

Believe it or not, motorbikes can legally weave through traffic between cars. The only stipulation is that you must drive with due care and consideration for other vehicles, be aware that vehicles may move, and not put other road users into a situation where they may have to move to avoid you or brake unexpectedly.

The Highway Code says: Maneuvering. You should be aware of what is behind and to the sides before maneuvering.

Look behind you; use mirrors if they are fitted. When in traffic queues look out for pedestrians crossing between vehicles and vehicles emerging from junctions or changing lanes. Position yourself so that drivers in front can see you in their mirrors. Additionally, when filtering in slow-moving traffic, take care and keep your speed low.