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N/A | National Being a Ride Leader - legalities

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by b12mick, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but there's a couple of things I'd like to add, based on advice from my solicitor when I was involved in a 'club'.

    Unless you have public liability insurance avoid having rules. Rather outline YOUR plans for the day, if others follow you then so be it.

    If you do choose to have rules then you need to ensure you also take all reasonable steps to ensure the route is safe and either hazard free or that all participants are made aware of any hazards. Make sure that it is clear that riders are to obey all road laws and ride according to the conditions and their skills.

    You will also need to make sure everyone on the ride holds the appropriate licence for the bike they are riding and that said bike is registered. As the 'organiser' you are ultimately responsible for the safety of those on the ride. Yes that's right, you have a duty of care.
  2. Quoted for truth..........
  3. That's fine Mick, happy to get everyone's opinion. I admit the legal situation is a bit grey, I have tried to clarify it with legal beagles myself but they are notoriously non-committal. Netrider is not a formal club with office bearers and legal reporting requirements so the situation is slightly different. If you meet for a ride then it is just a group of friends going for a ride together. I tried to cover that in the section about Riding your own ride and not feeling under pressure to ride faster.

    The legal opinion I have been given is that if you don't misrepresent yourself as an instructor etc, you don't take financial remuneration, you don't explicitly encourage people to break the law and you do all that a reasonable rider would do to maintain the safety of the group then you are relatively immune from legal consequences. Of course the test would be a legal challenge after an incident. In the end we all make decisions as to what risks we undertake, I feel, in my own case, that the benefits to me and other riders in group rides outweighs the possibility of a legal issue.

    It does emphasise that you need to make people aware of their own personal responsibilities in a ride.
  4. Ouch, I fell off..........Who can I sue?

    Is really what we're heading for?
  5. Have been told about the Public liability before,does make me think to ride with those i know and trust.
  6. Agreed. Unfortunately the only way someone will find out for sure is if someone, road gods forbid, sues a lead rider, tail end charlie, organiser for damages. Not being a formal club with office bearers etc is only part of the issue - in fact in some circumstance individuals can leave themselves even more exposed to litigation if it's not an incorporated body.

    As I say, I don't like being a wet blanket about it, and in 2 decades of riding I've only heard of a handful of instances where an individual has tried sued a ride organiser/leader. Only one was successful because it was proven that the organiser didn't follow and enforce the 'rules' they briefed the group on.

    All I'm saying is be careful, there are arseholes out there that will try and blame you for their own stupidity.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  7. Unfortunately for a lot of people - yes... :(
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. If there's anyone on here that'd even THINK that way, you can fk off right now.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  9. Sounded familiar..
    If someone exercises their right to obtain compensation due to (your) negligence, there is no need to take it personally and/or have a "you can fk right off now" POV or attitude.

    What you need to remember is that Victorian motor vehicles are covered by compulsory third party insurance through the Transport Accident Commission. This means that in the vast majority of common law damage claims, the wrongdoer will be indemnified or covered by TAC as the insurer. It is the TAC itself, rather than you the defendant, who has to pay the damages to the accident victim.

    Legal situation 'appears' to be grey partly because there are a lot of very vague BS articles on tort law. A group ride by its own nature does not make the leader liable. To be liable, you must be negligent and negligence has four components which must all be proven. The first major stumbling block in a situation like this is proving the duty of care.

    What duty does a group ride leader owe to anyone else in the group ride? If everyone is riding voluntarily, then there is no duty unless you create one, and to create a duty, you must create reliance or a need in someone that you then must fulfill or not ignore. By that I mean in a group ride situation you must say to the other riders either something that makes them think that you are responsible for them.

    If and when you can establish a duty of care, you then need to show where there was a breach of this duty of care. Did the breach cause the plaintiffs loss? Is the loss not too remote from the breach? and are there any defences available to the defendant?

    These are the basic elements which need to be satisfied in order to successfully make a claim for negligence pursuant to Civil Liability Act 2002 [NSW], Wrongs Act 1958 [VIC], Civil Liability Act 2003 [QLD] and relevant Acts for other states and territories.

    Related thread from July 2005: Ride Leader & Netrider liability

    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Thanks JustusJustus that clarifies the situation. My legal advice received followed your advice regarding the proof of negligence so that should put people's minds more at ease.You mention the TAC here in Victoria, is the situation any different in states that have at blame CTP schemes?

    In any case we as riders can worry about possible legal ramifications and you end up doing nothing. People are generally appreciative of your efforts as ride leader, they may not sometimes like your personal style in leading rides and their option is not to join one of your future rides,

    You do receive good motorcycle Karma from being a leader so start small but try and do it. The people who do lead rides regularly are community treasures but everyone has other things in their lives than riding (SHOCK HORROR :geek::wtf:) so usually can't commit every week. The greater pool of people we have who will run rides the more rides there will be and the more fun to be had.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Hi Chris

    No different in other states. Victoria was used as the example only because most of the members and organised rides are in that state.

    This is a good thread and riders should not baulk at organising or leading a ride due to legalities.

  12. Agreed - but I think it's only fair to point out that, like everything else to do with riding motorcycles, there is some risk involved.

    I used to enjoy organising and leading rides, but after almost a decade it got tiresome and I rediscovered the joy of riding by myself. (Then I ran out of money to ride as much as I want to)
  13. Some people don't think that way until nudged by a lawyer...