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In order to carry a passenger on a motorcycle:

  • the rider must have a full licence for that class of motor cycle;
  • the pillion must wear a suitably constructed helmet that fits properly;
  • pillion passengers must be capable of sitting astride a proper seat securely fixed to the motorcycle and be able to hold on effectively;
  • the motorcycle should be equipped with suitable supports/rests for the pillion's feet and they should be able to reach them;
  • the pillion should wear appropriate protective clothing;
  • the decision to carry a passenger remains with the rider, who is legally responsible for ensuring that the passenger is safely carried;
  • make sure you are not exceeding the maximum weight for the motorcycle - this may be shown in the manufacture's handbook but it you are in doubt consult a reputable dealer;
  • comply with any adjustments that the motorcycle manufacturer recommends in relation to carrying a pillion e.g. increasing the pressure in the rear tyre;
  • make sure your insurance covers carrying a pillion passenger.

In the case of a child, although there is currently no minimum legal age for them to ride as a pillion, they must wear a suitable helmet, be able to sit astride the motorcycle seat with their feet on the footrests and be able to hold on properly. Additionally, they should wear suitable protective clothing and it is strongly recommended that they have parental consent.


Strange as it may seem, and no doubt you will have seen this on say the London Marathon, it is legal for a pillion passenger to sit the wrong way around on a motorcycle as long as footrests are provided.


Mechanically propelled vehicles on a public road are required to display number plates (number plate in the case of motorcycles). Covering the vehicle could prevent them from being seen and this would be an offence.

It would be legal to cover the vehicle as long as the registration plates could be seen. Clear plastic panels could be used in the appropriate places to enable the registration plates to be visible.


Some traffic light controlled junctions have an advanced stop line (ASL) to allow cyclists to be positioned in front of other traffic - please see the diagram below:

Rule 178 - Advanced Stop Lines for Cycles

The Highway Code: using the road (159 to 203)

If the traffic lights are on red, drivers (including motorcyclists and scooter riders) must not cross the first stop line - if they do they could liable to a £100 fixed penalty and three penalty points on their driving license.

If the lights change from green to amber as a driver (including motorcyclists and scooter riders) approaches but they cannot safely stop before the first stop line, they can cross the first line but must stop before the second stop line. In these circumstances it is not an offence to stop in the marked area.

Drivers (including motorcyclists and scooter riders) should avoid blocking/encroaching onto the marked area at other times e.g. when the junction is blocked.

Note that just because there's a car in the ASL box does not mean to say the driver has committed an offence. The offence is only committed when the vehicle enters the ASL box when the light is red. If the vehicle enters the box and the light changes to red, no offence is committed.

Cyclists must not cross the second stop line while the traffic signal is red. Contravening a traffic signal is against the law, and could result in a £50 fine.

Some local authorities have run publicity campaigns with slogans such as: The bike box - get behind it.


Although it is not illegal to wear sunglasses whilst driving at night, it is not advisable as it is essential your vision remains clear at all times.

For further information please see the link in Related Information to the AA website.

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