Stevenage High Court injunction could block ride-outs

geograph 024279 by Jack Hill

Published on 17 August 2020 by Mike Waters

An application for an injunction at the High Court by Stevenage Borough Council aimed at stopping what it calls “Car Cruising could also see innocent motorcycle activities banned as well 

If granted, the injunction would see the following activities prohibited: 

(i) driving or riding at excessive speed, or otherwise dangerously  

(ii) driving or riding in convoy 

(iii) racing against other motor-vehicles  

(iv) performing stunts in or on motor-vehicles  

(v) sounding horns or playing radios  

(vi) dropping litter  

(vii) supplying or using illegal drugs  

(viii) urinating in public  

(ix) shouting or swearing at, or abusing, threatening or otherwise intimidating another person  

(x) obstruction of any other road-user  

(xi) stopping or parking vehicles or otherwise congregating at the location of a street cruise for the purpose of watching it. 

While ostensibly designed to control anti-social behaviour by “persons unknown who participate in street cruises”, enforcing the exact wording of the draft injunction could risk unintended consequences. For example, a prohibition against “riding in convoy” could also see charity ride-outs or possibly even riding instruction groups face legal sanction tooFurthermore, some acts listed in the injunction, such as “supplying or using illegal drugs” are already covered by existing legislation. 

Commenting, BMF Chairman Jim Freeman said: "The BMF have always been opposed to blanket injunctions taken out by local authorities. Apart from typically being a sledgehammer to crack a nut, they also usually indicate a lazy attitude to applying laws that are already in place.

"They are used as ASBOs without a specific target. This is fundamentally flawed, in the BMF's opinion, and should be regarded as not only illiberal, but authoritarian. What next, calling out the army to quell 'civil unrest'?

"The BMF will support all groups of riders who wish to ride together, provided they follow the CoMOrg COVID-19 guidelines, as approved by the National Police Chiefs' Council."


There will be a 
remote hearing before the Luton District Registry on August 20 where the public can participate. Further information about how to do so can be found here. 

Have your say on our Facebook page.  

You can join the BMF and help us protect the rights of motorcyclists for just £28 a year. Find out more here. 

 

Picture credit: Stevenage Old Town. © Copyright Jack Hill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence (cc-by-sa/2.0geograph.org.uk/p/24279, cropped)