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- - By p.gill Date 24.06.19 19:41
Yes, my luck finally ran out and have been ticketed for not wearing a helmet, trying to explain to the officer the reasons for not wearing a helmet was falling on deaf ears, the fact the Europe has a helmet exemption was due to Britain having far higher standards and that it was purely a commuter bike not suitable for the journey I had almost finished(1300 miles) it was obvious by now I had to keep quite and take it on the chin!
Some frantic searching has gone on and I found an eloquent letter by Peter Parker used at one of his hearings, listing his five absolute discharges with case numbers, and several other C1 owners getting absolute discharges with their case numbers too, but because ten or more magistrates may find in favour for the same offence does not mean mine will!
Will keep you posted on the progress
Parent - By HelmetHair Date 24.06.19 19:55
Try medical reasons, (whiplash) and also religious persecution/discrimination
I assume they didn’t ask if you were a Sikh-and if they had you would have told them-or perhaps told them it was not their business to be making assumptions and prosecuting someone for NOT being Sikh?
Parent - - By rockstedy Date 24.06.19 21:05
Expect letter with conditional offer of £50 fine or court hearing within few weeks. Not wearing helmet is illegal by law but my concern is more about physics law which won’t make you better off with extra weight on your head when attached to bike by 4 point seatbelt in leaning forward awkward position when involved in colission. Certainly pointing fact that this in only bike crash tested, not wearing any other safety gear like proper biker or it is simply discrimination on religious background as Sikh can ride ANY motorbike without helmet by law which is far more dangerous and less justified than on C1. Moreover would like mention quad bikers - no seatbelts and helmet which certainly isn’t safer but still ok by outdated law. It is good to keep helmet in box as C1 can be easily put on police car park ( for any silly reason) and returned earliest next day with broken stand mechanism if lucky  at least day after wasted as well for recovery. Let me guess - is that police who catch you was on bike?
Parent - - By aware Date 25.06.19 05:04
How ridiculous, a Sikh can drive lidless all types of bikes...
A sidenote, C1's are equipped with 5-point belt system.
Parent - - By p.gill Date 25.06.19 06:15 Edited 25.06.19 06:17
Thanks for your opinions and support. The officer was in a plain black BMW car
I forgot to mention the second half of this story, the officer told me he would not allow me to continue my journey without a helmet and at my cost have to be recovered (emphasising my cost!), I told him I was in the AA and would call them which would be about an hour, he left stating if I dared get back on and got caught again he would seize the bike (nice man!)
The AA man could not have been more helpful, I was thinking if he could take me to the Aust services, out of the officers patch then I’d take the old A48 back home, he said I recon your card is marked for today I’ll take you home! He was a very nice man!!!
Being a fellow biker and having two classic cars himself, the trip home was full of bike and car talk!
Parent - By alunt Date 25.06.19 07:03 Edited 25.06.19 07:07
Sorry to hear about that Paul. Riding round on the Continent with no helmet last week is the first time I’ve gone topless! It was great, except you hear every slight noise around you which panics me because I think something’s dropping off the bike! Not one person out of 160 last week wore a helmet, surely they can’t all have lower standards than the UK??
I’m in the process of buying a new helmet after the current 19 year old Vemar started to disintegrate on the trip last week. I fancy an open face with full visor, built in sun shade and lightest possible weight. Anyone got any ideas? The Givi 20.9 seems to fit the description
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 25.06.19 07:12
I still believe it is religious discrimination to force all non-Sikhs to wear helmets.
Either wearing a helmet is obligatory or it isn’t.
If Sikhs don’t wear them, it isn’t.
Woe betide any police officer discriminating against any other religion, so why the special rules for one religion?
My neighbours are Sikhs, lovely family. But I see no reason they should be allowed to choose to wear a helmet or not if I am not allowed.

Would it win in court? Well, if you swear to have converted (or been Sikh since birth) prior to the pull, then yes.

Would a pure claim of discrimination win? I doubt it unless you have a VERY sympathetic Magistrate who is unwilling to persecute you for your beliefs.
(Id probably just pay the £50 and save a day of aggravation)
Parent - - By alunt Date 25.06.19 07:51
I think Peter Parker explored every option and had to give up in the end. Now that C1 numbers are in decline and no sign of a similar vehicle coming along, the appetitite for changing the law will be even less than 16 plus years ago unfortunately. I agree about quad bikes, but there are lots of vehicles without seat belts which are more dangerous than C1s, all can be driven/ ridden without helmets. Maybe the stats don’t yet persuade law makers that a change is necessary.
Parent - - By patc50 Date 25.06.19 08:59
It's also important to note that on one occasion Peter Parker pleaded Not Guilty, was tried in the Magistrate's Court and won.  However, this was overturned by the High Court.  Thus, a precident has been set by the High Court (Magistrate Court decisions can't set precidents).  If pleading guilty to the charge in a Magistrate's court, the current penelty is a Band A fine (dependent on one's weekly income), plus court costs (usually between £60 and £100), plus a Victim Surcharge of £30.  As an example, for someone whose weekly income is £200, the band A fine would be £100, costs aprrox £100, victim surcharge £30, total £230.  This offence does not attract penelty points on your licence.
When Paul receives the court papers there may well be an 'offer' of fixed fine plus costs - but I don't think that the helmet law is liable to a Fixed Penelty Notice - need to chack that out.

Parent - By alunt Date 25.06.19 09:34
I think Del Boy’s “crash turban” is worth a look ;-)
A sikh police officer who was told to wear one received compensation!
Parent - By C1owner Date 26.06.19 07:39
"I think Peter Parker explored every option and had to give up in the end" .......

Erm....not really one for giving up mate lol. I think you will find it was, essentially, the CPS that gave up :-)
Parent - - By C1owner Date 26.06.19 07:37
Hi Paul :-) Pleased to hear that there are still some die hard helmetless drivers out there :-)

Over the years the recounting of my exploits seem to have suffered something along the lines of Chinese whispers lol.....allow me to set the record straight (not that I have a record of course ;) )

I was not found not guily on "one" ocassion in the Magistrates Court. I was found not guilty five times. It was this that prompted Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to take the matter to the High Court to establish if the Magistrates Court was right to continue to do this or not. Very long story cut short, the evidently pre-determined decision of Lord Justice Maurice Kay and his wingmen (one was a wingwoman) was that the Magistrates Court was wrong to find me not guilty and they were instructed to find me guilty on all five counts.

I was not particularly surprised at this outcome and drove back from the High Court without a helmet of course.

The Magistrates Court were somewhat miffed that the High Court had given it something of a slap. I was asked what I had to say in mitigation and delivered a short (for me anyway lol) recap of the stupidity of the archaic legislation that so clearly should not be applied to this specific vehicle. Once again, the very reasonable and thoughtful magistrates listened carefully and arrived at the following conclusion. They had no option but to find me guilty as directed by the High Court and so the verdict was duly handed out. Guilty on all five counts. However, the punishment for these dastardly crimes was not stated by the High Court and so, partly I think to help wipe the egg from their faces, they almost gleefully stated that due to the consequences of my actions (ie driving a BMW C1 without an approved protective helmet) being extremely unlikely to result in any less protection to my head, they stated (words to the effect of) "We are granting you an Absolute Discharge on all five cases, without fine and without costs". I thanked them very much indeed, left the court, got "in" my C1 and drove home. I did not wear a helmet again for the duration of my C1 driving years (that ended several years after my last court appearance) at the end of May 2011 when I moved abroad. That amounted to a total of ten years helmetless driving and, if I were still in the UK, it would now be 18 years!

I was, of course, stopped several times after my five Absolute Discharges but nothing ever came of any of those. The best stop was in a fuel station, somewhere between Northampton and Birmingham, where an officer in a parked police car saw me drive in. As I was filling up he approached me and told me I should wear a helmet "on one of these things". I said something to the contrary to which he began a short lecture about the actions of someone called Peter Parker who took on the government and lost, ending up with five counts going against him! I corrected him saying that he actually got five absolute discharges and the CPS has given up trying to get him penalised. He asked to see my licence, looked at it, smiled, said "Have a nice day Mr Parker" and walked back to his car :-)

By all means lean upon any of the documents from my history in this regard and also feel free to refer to any of my posts too. There are one or two! Unless you plan on tackling the subject with all gund blasting and being in for the long haul as I was, I do not think you should refer to the turban argument at all. The case for driving a C1 without a helmet is perfectly strong enough by simply depending upon the extremely obvious and huge lengths that BMW has gone to to produce a two wheeled vehicle that is "safe" to drive without a helmet. Additionally you can then find plenty of data on basal skull fractures that have every chance of resulting from high impact frontal collisions if you add a couple of kilo to your already weighty head. Make your case sensibly, logically and reasonably based upon safety issues and without emotional content and without pointing fingers at others. My five absolute discharges AFTER the High Court directive to find me guilty is a very strong lead for other sensible, reasonable Magistrates to follow. Hope you get on ok. Please let me know! Kind regards PP.    
Parent - By HelmetHair Date 26.06.19 08:22
" I do not think you should refer to the turban argument at all. The case for driving a C1 without a helmet is perfectly strong enough"

1-the law is to wear a helmet

2-unless you are a Sikh.

So you can either argue against the law, or with it.
but as noted, i'd pay £50 and move on with my day.
Parent - - By john wells Date 27.06.19 06:29
Peter, good to hear from you - still checking the forum even without a C1!
Parent - - By C1owner Date 27.06.19 11:40
Erm....John....I still have 4 :-)
Parent - - By Mad_Accountant Date 20.08.19 05:51
Unless you are travellimg locally it’s advisable to carry a cheap lightweight, legal lid in your topbox so that the  journey can continue.

I don’t know when it became £50, my six were all at £30, £50 does change the economic argument a tad, having said that I guess £50 means less to me these days than £30 used to
Parent - - By p.gill Date 02.09.19 06:25
Well it arrived!
A £75 fixed penalty notice, less than I thought! After asking Pat for his opinion, the conclusion was to pay up.
As a precedence has been set in the High court, the chances of an absolute discharge are nil, and if there was a chance, I would still have to pay court costs that could be up to £600. No brainier really!
I’m sure Pat may be able to expand on this post.
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 02.09.19 07:27
Much as it would pain me, I would also just pay up and move on.
No points?
Parent - - By p.gill Date 02.09.19 07:49
No points and no criminal record
Parent - - By HelmetHair Date 02.09.19 08:31
Interesting . Thanks.
I’d also think carrying a lightweight helmet would be a good idea on long trips rather than risk an impounded bike many miles from home.
Parent - - By Mad_Accountant Date 17.09.19 04:29
Thank you for the update and I’m sorry for your hassle

£75 would not deter me but these days I mostly ride with a helmet for comfort reasons (as stated above)

The answer, of course , is to ride the UK helmeted but go abroad regularly. I’m sorry I missed the international meet, we had a crazy summer of (four) music festivals, I had one two wheeled trip to Bruges on my newly acquired R1200RT (plus a week at the IOM TT camping on the same bike). Jan has said no more music festivals  (too much of a time bandit) so maybe next year?


Parent - - By aware Date 17.09.19 07:36
1. I hate helmets
2. One reason I bought the C1 was the helmetless attribute (legal in my country)
3. I was thinking about all this whiplash argument and I just realised that car racers wear seatblets and helmets simultaneously...
4. I still hate them!
Parent - - By john wells Date 17.09.19 19:44
F1 racers also wear very substantial neck braces to deal with the whiplash
Parent - - By aware Date 18.09.19 04:40
Only F1?
Parent - - By rockstedy Date 18.09.19 11:12
No as any serious mortorsport uses SNELL certified helmet designed to be used within cage and offer fire protection for driver not to mention anchor points in helmet to protect neck while motorbike must be  DOT certified and are far more cheaper.
Parent - - By Mad_Accountant Date 19.09.19 04:19
Can anyone else confirm the fine is up from£30 to a £50 fixed penalty ?
Parent - By patc50 Date 20.09.19 12:48
I saw Paul's paperwork and he received a Fixed Penalty Notice for £75.  The cost of Fixed Penalty Notices, court costs and the Victim Surcharge have all been ramped up in the past few years to try to make up for the swinging cuts to the Criminal Justice System.
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