A Coffs Harbour rider has received NSW Police approval to drive 390km to buy a second-hand commuter bike to ride to work.
Elliot Redward currently has a Suzuki GSX650F (pictured) and graduates to his full licence this week so he wanted to buy a Kawasaki ZX-14R for his daily 27km each-way commute.
“I found a bargain of a bike south towards Sydney,” he says.
“I do love the bigger sports bike and this day and age they are cheap.
“The problem is I live almost 400km away.”
So Elliot did the responsible thing and contacted the NSW Police Commissioner’s office to find out if it was legal to drive that far to buy his desired commuter bike.
However, the brief reply simply referred him to the NSW Health website which says it is legal to travel for work reasons.
Like many of these hastily drafted rules it is unclear and Elliot still wasn’t sure if he could drive 390km to buy the commuter bike.
So he contacted Motorbike Writer for advice.
It seemed like a reasonable travel requirement to us — plus he was shopping, which is also exempt!
So we asked NSW Police media for a clearer verdict.
This is the answer we received:
As you can appreciate there are many different scenarios in relation to COVID-19 restrictions. While we can not answer them all I would suggest in this case to travel to a destination to obtain a motor vehicle for the purpose of travelling to work would be a reasonable cause to travel. If he was pulled over it would be a matter of explaining to the officer the reason for your journey.
This is a win for Elliot and a win for commonsense.
We don’t pass any judgement on Elliot’s choice for a commuter bike. It’s a free country!
And we also don’t expect everyone will now suddenly hop in their cars to drive hundreds of kilometres to buy a motorcycle for work, just to avoid the travel restrictions.
However, some people have done some dumb things during the current lockdown!
And we have also seen some rather strange fines being imposed by police in Queensland, NSW and Victoria for people.
But this decision is a reasonable and responsible response from NSW Police.
So let’s also act in a reasonable and responsible way.
If you do plan to leave home on your motorcycle, make sure you have a valid reason.
If police pull you over, explain your reason politely and mention that you firmly believe it is valid.
They may still direct you to turn around and go home, which you should do or you are disobeying a police directive and could cop an even bigger fine.
If you do cop an on-the-spot fine for non-compliant travel, you are legally allowed to challenge it, but you should seek legal help.
Since courts are only hearing serious matters during the pandemic, it could be some time before minor matters such as this are brought before the courts.
To avoid an overload of the courts, the police may even waive some of these fines once the travel restrictions are removed.
It’s your decision. Act responsibly.