Virus Pandemic: It is still legal to ride?
It's ok to use your bike for shopping

UPDATE: Is it still legal to ride?

Last updated:

(This pandemic article was last updated on April 28. For May 11 details, click here.)

Around the world, riders are biding their time in lockdown.

But Australia is performing well with a flattened curve on new infections, so there is scope to get out of the house and go for a ride.

New restriction rules came into force from 30 March 2020 that say leaving your residence is not permitted except for  a range of essential reasons: Shopping; medical care or compassionate needs; exercise; and for work and education.

QueenslandPandemic ride responsibly

However, from Saturday 2 May, Queenslanders can ride for recreation up to 50km radius from their home.

Riders are advised that social distancing still applies which means no congregating at stops.

They must also ride in ones or twos so long or with several members of the same household. 

You can also ride for compassionate reasons to visit a relative or close friend. No distance from home is stipulated.

Police have been ordered to use “compassion”, so make sure your reason for riding is legitimate.

The Health Department and Queensland Police say pillions are allowed just as passengers are in a car.

NSW

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says riding a motorcycle is exercise and therefore legal.

She says NSW Police have not booked anybody for riding a motorbike, “because that is akin to riding an exercise bike”.

However, NSW Police have further interpreted the rules to say people can leave their house for “brief exercise in your own neighbourhood”.

But you can ride to visit a “partner” with whom you don’t live.

So it’s not a free-for-all under the pretence of exercise.

Her claim that police have not fined riders is not correct.

On Thursday (9 April 2020), a motorcyclist was stopped by police on Oxford Street, Gateshead.

Officers spoke with the 36-year-old man, who allegedly provided “multiple conflicting reasons for not being home before stating he was on his way to help a friend fix a bike”.

The officers deemed his reasons for travel as non-essential and issued the man with a $1000 fine.

As for pillions, it might be difficult to prove a pillion is exercising, although “hanging on for your life” can be exhausting!

VictoriaVictoria Solo Unit motorcycle police uniforms fatalities day of national day of action

The Premier’s office confirmed to us that riding is exercise, so we also contacted Victoria Police who simply replied:

You have done the right thing in seeking clarification about this from the Premier’s office. These directions are set by the Chief Medical Office, and the Department of Health and Human Services is the lead agency. As such, they are best placed to respond to your enquiry.

So, that would indicate that motorcycling is exercise and still legal, within all the other guidelines.

As in NSW, you can also ride to visit a “partner” with whom you don’t live.

You can also leave home for “compassionate reasons”, but you better have a legitimate, essential reason such as a dying relative!

However, VicPol’s latest edict is that outdoor activity is limited to “basic exercise”.

They mentioned boating, golfing and camping, but not specifically motorcycling.

Victoria will update its restrictions on May 111.

Note that Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton has said “stop looking for loopholes”.

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website says you can exercise by going for a “bike ride”, but doesn’t stipulate bicycles or motorcycles.

We’ve asked for clarification and they promised a reply before the end of last week … we are still waiting.

Other states

In Tasmania you can visit a family member and in the ACT you can visit anyone so long as there are not more than two of you visiting at the one time.

ACT Police are not yet issuing COVID-19 infringement notices as they are prioritising public education over coercive sanctions.

In South Australia and Northern Territory there are no fines for leaving the house for non-essential reasons, however unnecessary socialisation is discouraged.

South Australia and Western Australia now allow groups of up to 10 to meet so that means group riding is back on, within limits.

They must also maintain social distance of 1.5m.

Motorcycle Riders Association of WA representative and Ulysses Club National Committee member Dave Wright says the state has closed its borders and closed boundaries between the nine regional areas to all but essential services.

However, the regions are big and allow a lot of scope for great rides.

Official sites

These are the official rules for your state or territory:

Police discretion

Whether you get a fine or not will depend on  how police interpret the Direction, and whether you can defend that fine or not will depend on how the court interprets the Direction says Brisbane lawyer Andrew Evans. This is not straightforward and believing it is could cost you a lot of money.

He says that a range of different views being expressed by different levels of government and the QPS has made the legality of leisure riding for exercise “as clear as mud”.

“It’s not clear and people are going to wear fines if they think it’s as easy as going for a ride and when pulled over saying ‘I’m exercising’,” he says.  There might be a whole range of ways to defend a charge but there’s never a guarantee and unless a person represents themselves it would be an expensive process.

“In coming weeks I think the police will get a lot tougher too, particularly when testing methods change and we start to become more aware of community transmission.”

“Welcome to the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.  To use a technical legal term what we have at the moment is a clusterfuck because laws that normally go through a long process to ensure as much clarity as possible, are being made on the fly to keep up with the medical emergency.”

Police are becoming stricter in their interpretation of what is “essential”, even fining one Victorian learner for having his mum supervise him in the car.

Queensland Barrister Levente Jurth has advised that if anyone has been fined, they need to challenge it in the usual way on the grounds that they were not acting contrary to the directive, despite the police officer’s view.

However, he is not sure what “usual” is in the present circumstances as courts are effectively closed for all but serious matters.

“If someone is obviously doing the wrong thing and is being deliberately disobedient, then they will be punished if they get caught,” he advises.

“On the other hand, anyone who is conscientiously trying to do the right thing and is doing their best to act in compliance with the applicable directives will likely be treated with some flexibility (eg. a warning), even if they have technically contravened a specific rule.”

Police in all states have said they will assess all fines and police will use their “judgement”.

Queensland State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski explains how they will approach the issue:

Where police will take action is if there are blatant or wilful breaches happening in the community.

Exemption for exercise?

Given the confusion over what constituted exercise and the fact that riding is good for mental and physical health as per this article, we have sought clarification on this issue on several occasions.

When the rules came in, we contacted the PM’s office, each Premier’s office, state health departments, the national coronavirus hotline and police.

The PM’s office referred us to the national hotline as the definitive source of information.  The operator referred to the supervisor who sought confirmation from a manager.

They agreed that leisure riding is classed as exercise and therefore exempt from the travel restrictions. Not once, but twice on two separate days!

The Queensland, South Australian, Victorian and Tasmanian Premiers’ offices and NT Chief Minister’s office all concurred with that judgement. Gladys now agrees.

Most of those who replied pointed out that riders should act responsibly and “within reason”.

However, it is the attitude of police that riders need to bear in mind. Here are police attitudes across the nation:

In Queensland, police say the rules allowing physical exercise need to be considered within your local area (now 50km), “not travelling on a motorbike through the mountains, and adding up all those extra unnecessary interactions like stopping for fuel”.

There have been several contradictory claims on motorcycle Facebook pages saying riders have been stopped by police and advised to go home as it is illegal. Others say police have advised them it’s ok.

Aged riders

The Prime Minister’s office also gave “strong advice” that people aged 70, anybody over 60 with a chronic illness and Indigenous people over 50 should stay home and self-isolate.

That could rule out many riders as a growing number are “mature-aged”.

The mature-aged riding club, Ulysses, has not directed members to stop riding.Ulysses Club membership forum

In an open letter to members, Road Safety Committee spokesman Terry McCarthy says riding helps de-stress:

Staying indoors or around our property may drive some of us stir crazy. We also are worrying about family and friends and how they may be coping in these difficult times. A coping mechanism may be going for a ride. Riding a motorcycle/scooter allows us to socially distance ourselves and comply with requirements presently in force. It may be the best way to relive your anxiety and stress in a safe manner.

The Ulysses Club recommends that if you do go riding, you practise good hygiene and social distancing, carry hand cleaner and your own food and drink, avoid public gatherings, and self-isolate if you are sick.

Responsible actions

Just because it’s not yet law and riders may not yet have been fined doesn’t mean we should be heading out for a ride as often as we would like, nor for big distances or multiple days.

That not only gives a bad public impression of riders, but it’s not in the spirit of the recommendations and suggestions.

We note that police say crime is down, but domestic violence is on the rise, because, as one psychologist told us, partners are “in each other’s faces 24/7”.

Getting away for a short leisure solo ride could be an important “release valve”, they suggested.

If you do decide to run the risk of a fine for riding, you should probably avoid the usual places where riders congregate as that will attract police attention.

Police in several states say they are particularly patrolling borders and “areas where people congregate” which could include riders gathering at scenic spots and cafes.

Sadly, many of our favourite cafes have closed, although the Mt Glorious Cafe will reopen on Saturday and Sunday to gauge support.Virus pandemic Mt Glorious cafe coronavirus covid-19

As we have seen, restrictions are ramped up every few days in response to a lack of compliance in the population. 

The slower we are to obey directions, the more restrictive the rules become. We may soon even see riding totally ruled out!

It also prolongs the duration that many riding brothers and sisters are out of work.

Coronavirus pandemic
MBW keeps his bike close at hand while working at home to keep you entertained through the Coronavirus pandemic

A lot of riders complying with the recommendations, ceasing group rides and staying home to work on or clean their bike.

The good news is that a McCrindle Research online study of 1015 Australians has found that 86% are adhering to government advice to stop the spread of Coronavirus.

Hopefully, 86% of riders are also doing the responsible thing and limiting their riding or hibernating their bike.

Pandemic info resources

If you need health advice or information on the pandemic restrictions and recommendations, try these resources:

Australian Department of Health; Health Direct or the Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 020 080.

To check out the latest infection and death statistics, clickhere.

  1. In Qld according to the latest release from the Premier, some lifting of restrictions. After 11:59pm next Friday, recreational riding of motorcycles will be allowed in Qld. There is a 50km radius from your home limit, but this is great news. A 50km radius allows for some nice enjoyable rides, but I think Saturday will be like a traffic jam and London to a Brick there will be plenty of Radars out there. So Ladies and Gentlemen in Qld lets all enjoy safely.

  2. Deja Vu.. The usual anti-motorcycle rhetoric from the cops.. Car drivers are fine – No restrictions required on them when gassing up and the servo round the corner going gangbusters all day, so the gassing up risk cited is obviously not genuine – And Cops obviously dont spread Covid 19 when they gas up? – Even bike cops like the one that pulled me over today on Mount Glorious and he’s there buzzing up and down the road all day spreading the joy! And whatever else? And the only chance I had to infect or be infected while otherwise wearing my full face helmet and full length leather was of course when said cop pulled me over.. Figure that one out! But once again motorcyclists are somehow to blame – Being “selfish” – Even just being alive in spite of the endless mode-specific targeted harassment. This time guilty of spreading Covid 19 of all bullshit reasons! LMFAO – Just because they might occasionally gas up according to the cops.. Wheres the balance in pulling cars over on Mt G as well? Non existent! If its gassing up that is the risk.. Shut the gas stations! Dont use this as yet another fake reason to selectively persecute motorcyclists!

  3. With beaches opening next week including Bondi, will there be a relaxing of the restrictions on social riding. Especially those who live out of the Sydney area who will not come into contact with the spandex brigade

  4. State of fear seems to be the order of the day.. just remember that the WHO stated in 2017, 650000 people died from a flu we have a vaccine for so this panicdemic seems a bit over the top… so if im riding to see my pattner who resides in a different suburb and I am the only one there I’m not breaking the law..i am well within my rights.. as for stopping at a servo if I’m in a car I still need petrol so that makes that argument mute..

  5. So tell me how the Ambos can keep social distancing when trying to attend an accident?
    the chance of having an accident far outstrips the chance of covid19 contact.
    Have some thought for the first liner’s.
    Stop looking for loopholes and think about others.

    1. So by this logic noone should be gardening or doing maintenance work around the house in case they hurt themselves, yet I see nothing in the guidelines about it.

  6. I discussed the matter with my Psychologist yesterday, and while it is just her opinion, I will stand by it. Her view is that it is exercise and it is a vital part of me maintaining my mental health. However she agreed with me that under the restrictions, you are not supposed to leave your suburb (Queensland) while exercising. Therefore last night I went for a ride around my suburb and I felt much better after the ride. One measure I had done was making sure that did not need to get fuel, so last time I had to use the car, I got a Jerry Can of fuel, so that I could fuel up at home. It’s all about common sense. I would love to go for a nice long ride, but will just settle for any saddle time.

  7. There doesn’t seem to be much information out there specifically around learner riders with the current COVID19 restrictions (as opposed to learner drivers). If the only riding allowed is to the shops or work then it restricts somewhat the amount of practice needed. No issues with that except the amount of time involved.
    With these restrictions, added impact of rider training centres closed, and disruptions to the supply chain, it would provide a compelling reason for learner licenses to be extended for 3 months or longer depending on how long the restrictions are around.

  8. In NSW you are forbidden from riding/driving unless you are getting essential supplies, riding to work, visiting the doctor etc. If you are caught “leisure riding” in NSW this Easter you will be fined. This is directly from the NSW minister for Police

  9. As usual in ‘GOTCHA’ Australia, the actual reason for the various directives is lost.
    Nobody actually wants to spread the virus. So lets have a look at going for a 200km Sunday ride, alone or with a live-in friend on the back.
    We don’t stop in any town, our only stop is for a drink, *carried with us, at a deserted rest area. Then back on the bike and home. Mental stress is greatly relieved and we all feel much better for the lonely ride.
    Clearly, there is not the remotest chance of us infecting anyone, or picking up infection on the ride. But the benefit is tangible and very good.
    So how is this in any way conflicting with the law? Obviously its not, and anyone a victim in this is a victim of our GOTCHA culture.

        1. Peter, do you know how many emergency service activations there are across a weekend / long weekend across each state for people who thought they were just going for bike ride, dirt bike ride, jet ski or boat ride ?

          Or is it just all about you

  10. This is without doubt the biggest breach of Human Rights ever perpetrated. To see it happening in Australia for any reason is shocking. As many have pointed out already the Police have become self appointed law makers, again in direct contravention of the Human Rights Act. There could be a minefield of litigation once this is all over and the police need to be careful not to overstep the mark. There is little actual legislation to protect them or individual officers who may overstep the mark. Hiding behind the need for the greater good has long been used as an excuse for some terrible acts of injustice. We have a strict and segregated legal system to avoid this very problem. Govt. enact law, police administer it and the courts punish those that break them. The lines between them should never be blurred.

      1. Why do people presume riding isn’t important to those of us that do it? For me it is an important mental release. I work six days a week. This crisis has trebled my workload and crippled my income with zero help from Govt. Under stress? just a little. Riding has to be the safest pastime imaginable at this time.
        100 times more likely to catch or spread Covid 19 at Woolworths yet the Police treat us like Typhoid Mary on a Spring break. Make it clear the rules under which we can ride and 99% of all riders will obey.
        Fishing, surfing etc are all far more likely to cause a genuine increased risk due to social interaction. Bike riding is a solitary as it gets. Its social distancing on steroids.

        1. “This is without doubt the biggest breach of Human Rights ever perpetrated”

          Really? Grow TF Up!

          Google “Human rights abuses around the world” and compare them to what is happening here, let alone in other countries around the world now.

          Yes it is a pain in the arse having all these things impact our daily lives, but what might happen if we just let people get on with doing whatever TF they want to do and see what happens then. Natural selection could just work if we didn’t have any laws to limit the spread and impact of Covid-19, and we all had this attitude. God help us the civil libertarians were in charge of the CV19 response.

          I also don’t believe that anyone is presuming that riding isn’t important to us that do it and need to do it, and individually, none of us are likely to infect anyone else, but if all of a sudden, the rule was that no-one could go anywhere unless they were riding a motorcycle, everyone else would be up in arms as to why they can’t have their normal everyday therapy of driving their car for mental health reasons, then all of a sudden, bloody everyone is ignorring the bans and infection rates go up and we’re in a worse situation than before.

          I agree that its a bloody stressful time for everyone, and some more than others, but sometimes it’s just best to shut up, batten the hatches and ride out this storm like everyone else has to. Mick Fuller said it best on the news the other day responding to some of the people quarantined in hotels for 14 days. There are many people who lost everything they own in the bushfies in Jan, who are still living in tents and caravans. Just get some perspective!

          1. So you are saying by inference that the State should refund our registration fees?

            But my argument will still prevail. I am healthy and fit and able to help anyone I can. For that to continue I need to remain healthy and solvent. That means I must be able to ride.

            If you lock me (meaning healthy fit solvent people) away, who is going to help? Sick broke people?
            I’m deadly serious.

  11. Come on Bikers, let’s just do the right thing and self isolate stop looking for loop holes. For once the government is trying to look after all of us, if you want to “look the big tough bikie” go ahead, but don’t whinge and moan if and when you cop a fine for being an IDIOT.

  12. What about accompanying learner riders? I see the RACQ have reported that a learner driver can continue to learn… and surely driving a car with a person right next to you is a far less safe practice. At least on motorcycles the supervisor and the learner are self-isolated on their own vehicles which only they are likely to touch.

  13. Solo isolated riding should be ok. So a ride down the road without contacting anyone for a short peiod should be ok.

  14. FFS. For those tryng to worm their into a ride and debate the point – Grow Up.

    You have an adult situation here were the Gov’s (Federal and State) are tryting to protect YOU and others from a Pandemic. At some stage surely you get that we dont have a normal situation here. Sit back and do something else, perhaps ask what the adults are doing and take their lead.

    The longer people like this keep stuffing around the longer this whole saga will go on.

  15. This seems to be quite a legal minefield. Under hierarchy of Legislation, Federal Legislation over rides State Legislation. While the PM has stated that motorcycle riding is exercise, is it in Legislation?. Federal Legislation may also have a clause that allows States to set there own standards. I’m no expert and this would need proper legal interpretation.

    I think common is the answer. While we all like a good blat around the twisties, maybe limit rides for the time being to urban rides and try to associate that with other allowable reasons to leave home. I see a psychologist who fully agrees that riding is essential for my mental health, so if needed I would ask for a document stating the need for me to go for a ride now and then. As a 60 yo rider, I have to be a bit more mindful, but we all know 30 minutes, even urban riding is great for mental health and gets the body working.

    Finally if you get pulled over, pass the attitude test. The Police are doing their job, which at this point of time is hard enough. Don’t launch a verbal tirade, be polite. This is a matter that needs proper legislative clarification.

  16. The last I heard, which was on the QPS website two minutes ago, if you are pulled over you are only required to provide your name and address and produce your licence. So if you refuse to say where you are going, the police cannot prove you have committed an offence.

    1. From QPS site, “being questioned, your right to remain silent”.

      “police have the power to ask you basic questions and you’re breaking the law if you refuse to answer:

      your name and address
      date and place of your birth (in drug matters)
      questions regarding broken traffic laws or whether you’ve seen an accident
      “other questions that they can ask under special laws.”

    2. Alas Tony, in NSW at least, the offence is “going outside”. You then have a series of “defenses”, at least one of which you must provide in order to avoid getting fined.

      So if you don’t offer a defense, you get the default, which in NSW is a $1,000 fine.

      That to me is the big concern with Public health orders. They can be imposed on the whim of the Minister, and they create a situation where the usual burden of proof is reversed. I’m not sure why a fuss wasn’t made in 2010 when the legislation for them was passed.

      This one is justifiable and arguably necessary. The next one will be easier to do, and could be for anything the Minister wants.

  17. Note that the Sen Sergent has clearly pointed out the CHO, LAW and police duristriction have overruled the premier and other advice when not aligning with the LAW. Note the statement below “unless it is reasonably necessary to accomplish for food, health or work”. Don’t get fined. Be aware that premier’s statement below would surely be overruled in court unless for the explicit purposes stated in the CHO direction applied by the police.

    “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has decided that people are allowed to visit another person’s house, so long as there are no more than two visitors who are not ordinarily members of that household.”

    1. As far as I can tell you can visit a person’s house.

      Section 6

      e – to visit another person’s residence in accordance with paragraph 9;

      9. Subject to paragraphs 10 to 12, a person who is an owner, resident, tenant, occupier, temporary occupier or person in control of a residence may allow up to two visitors who are not ordinarily members of the person’s household.
      Examples of visitors – Family members and close friends

      10. Paragraph 9 does not prevent workers or volunteers entering a place of residence and they are not counted as visitors for the purpose of paragraph 9.

      11. Paragraph 9 does not apply to a residential aged care facility, corrective services facility or detention centre.
      Note – The Aged Care Direction given on 21 March 2020 and the Corrective Services Facility Direction given on 22 March 2020 restrict visitors to those facilities. Other Public Health Directions may be made applying to other types of facilities.

      12. Paragraph 9 does not apply to a residence of a person with disability if it is necessary for more than two people to attend the residence to provide services to the person with disability to meet their support needs.

  18. If authorities are truly banning riding (or driving) for leisure, then surely they must acknowledge the consequences of such a ban. Is it legal for the motor vehicle registry to continue to charge registration fees and CTP insurance (even licensing fees) on vehicles that the government effectively prevents from being on the road? You might say that everyone has the option to de-register their vehicle but this comes with inconvenience and additional costs at such time you want (are allowed) to re-register and ride/ drive again. (And forces people to go out of their houses and congregate at the local motor registry to hand in plates etc.)

      1. I raised this same question with the RACQ. They didn’t seem to understand my point. I own and pay full rego on four vehicles. Two are motorcycles. It’s bad enough that I can only ride one bike at a time, one modern and one a 50 year old classic. I only ride on a Sunday morning. Ok that’s my problem and I accept it. What I do not findSpread that across all the mothballed bikes and it adds up to some serious money. fair is that they have effectively banned me from riding which could be for as long as 6 months. I am sure the Govt. is very happy to continue to receive full rego for both bikes but I am not happy paying it. It seems anything is now allowed under the new martial laws. I’m guessing others have read the rather offensive statement from Senior Sargeant Stevens at Indooroopilly. So obviously anti motorcycle and very biased. Always suspected a member of Govt. or senior Police member lives on Mt Glorious. They are placing roadblocks here and Mt Tamborine. This is the Police enforcing travel restrictions that are almost certainly not law. Shocking how quickly our freedoms have been snatched away. How many will be returned I ask.

  19. From: “Stevens.MickL[RPC]”
    Date: 6 April 2020 at 10:09:47 am AEST
    To: RoostStarFilms Mick
    Subject: RE: Mt Glorious sole motorcycle riding complaint

    I have attached a copy of the CHO Direction for you to peruse.

    The part I would draw your attention to, is paragraph 6 where is says “A person who resides in Queensland must not leave their principal place of residence except for, and only to the extent reasonably necessary to accomplish, the following permitted purposes:”. The section then lists exemptions.

    The direction is very clear, you MUST stay in your principal place of residence, it does not allow recreational riding of motorcycles. The direction needs to be followed as it is the authority in this matter, not what is commented on news reports, facebook feeds or discussed on other social media platforms. I understand what you have said regarding comments in the media about exercise, but please remember the Premier recently said on the news that the Easter Bunny would be allowed into Queensland, so clearly not everything reported on media is true or accurate. Conversely, the CHO Direction is written, freely available, enforceable and is very clear. Again, at no point in the CHO direction does it permit recreational riding of a motorbike.

    I have legal advice indicating that as the direction currently stands, a motorbike is only to be utilised as a means of transport in order to give effect to one of the stated exceptions, that means you can use your motorbike to go and get food, medication or go to work. It does not give you permission or authority to use your motorbike as a recreational vehicle. There are no facilities within the Mt Glorious, Mt Nebo or Mt Coot-Tha areas that would currently meet a, “reasonably necessary to accomplish” getting food or medication, criteria. Those facilities are in other areas, in your neighbourhoods, shopping centres, etc, not in the mountains.

    Legal advice has indicated that the spirit and intent of the CHO Direction, is to keep people within their own neighbourhoods to slow the spread of the COVID19 virus. It is allowing physical exercise, but again that needs to be considered within your local area, not travelling on a motorbike through the mountains, and adding up all those extra unnecessary interactions like stopping for fuel. I understand there was previously a statement made by the health minister. For your information that statement was made prior to the current CHO Direction, which overrules the ministers statement.

    Also, from a policing point of view, our resources are stretched attending to other activities, including border control, and policing activities at airports and hotels, and the increase in policing services helping the wider community. It would appear a number of motorbike riders have taken this as “carte blanch” to ride in a non-law abiding manner within the mountain areas. This has the potential to increase traffic crashes which will stretch our already stretched resources, along with those of the Queensland Ambulance Service, the Queensland Fire and Rescue and hospitals and emergency health staff. Again, this is in direct contrast to the idea of the CHO Direction, which is designed to limit the impact the COVID19 virus has on Hospitals and emergency services.

    Remember the over arching reason for this restriction is to limit the spread of COVID19 virus, and as the advertising states, “We are all in this together”. The selfish and reckless actions of individuals claiming their “need” to go motorbike riding is in direct contradiction to what is needed at this time. Perhaps this is a good time to sit back and reflect on what is really important to the whole community and not just your own selfish individual “wants”.

    Please stay at home and stop riding your motorbikes in the mountains. Please do not make us issue Traffic Infringement Notices to you, to get the point across.

    I hope this clarifies matters for you.

    Mick STEVENS
    Senior Sergeant 9120
    Officer In Charge
    Indooroopilly Road Policing Unit
    Road Policing Command | Queensland Police Service
    31 Station Road, Indooroopilly Qld 4068
    ( (07) 32124520 | 7 (07) 32124503
    [email protected]

      1. Note that by this information the “LAW” and Policing holds jurisdiction. Not the premier, not politicians, not spokes persons on the news, as they are stating things outside of CHO Direction by LAW. And policing has jurisdiction. It should be noted that many other seemingly needed activities may also be illegal (outside of the allowed activities) at this point. Such as “taking your vehicle to be repaired or serviced”, even if there is a safety recall. It is obviously not necessary to have a working vehicle to accomplish the permitted activities as you could take a taxi or bus etc. Obviously there is no allowance to go out and buy products of any type other than for medical, food or for your job. No plumbing, electrical supplies, clothes, furniture etc unless ‘on-line’. It also does not say you can travel to do this for other people “keep people within their own neighbourhoods”. (care army?) Seems a lot to take in. I think it’s clear about the bike riding unfortunately.

  20. Re the update for NSW where the police statement qualifies “exercise” to mean “exercise in your neighborhood”.

    1. Police statements are opinion, not law. Their job is to enforce the public health order, not add to it.
    2. The Public health order only says “exercise” in Schedule 1 clause 5 without further qualification.
    3. The Prime Minister’s office has clearly stated that motorcycle riding for leisure constitutes exercise.

    Thoughts? (Apart from “Just stay at home” Riding is not going to transmit any disease to anyone if I don’t come into contact with them.)

    1. Hi Ross,
      It won’t stop them harassing and fining riders.
      It is then up to riders to take it to court.
      I believe the courts will throw out these stupid rules, anyway!
      Not enforceable.
      Cheers,
      Markt

  21. There are three types of people. Those that wont do the right thing by the nation, those that will and be smart about it, and the do-gooders.
    Those that refuse to isolate should get some serious punishment. Covid19 is not a joke.
    The do-gooders are almost as bad. To take your own interpretation of the law (remember it is unclear so even you are taking liberties here) and saying we have to lock ourselves in the cupboard without thinking about the consequences of that is plain stupid, and possibly dangerous over the long run. We have a long way to go through this, possibly 12 months or more. We need to do things that will get us through it, minimise friction at home, but all the while staying isolated.
    In January I started preparing for Covid19 and have put 120 litres of fuel aside so I dont have to go the servo. If I do have to for my car, I will top up my jerries then. Again to minimise contact with others.
    I will also temper my riding, ride alone, and just use it for stress relief without creating any undue risk or any external contact. If my bike breaks down I can call my son (who lives with me) via Inreach Satellite communicator to collect me in my ute.
    This is the kind of approach everyone needs to take. Work out what reduces contact and make the isolation achievable over the long term.

  22. Federal member for Cowper was on NBN news Friday night (3rd April) stating, among other things, it is OK to “go for a drive to clear your head” providing you observe the social distancing and only 2 people rules. Drive/ride should be the same thing

  23. Hi,

    Your article is giving a lot of people a license to ride. You need to be stronger to emphasize that we all should Stay home.

    Because of your article, a lot of fellow bikers are just looking at your section on “solo riding is an exercise” and ignore the socially responsible thing.

    As the interpretation of exercise is very controversial, it is causing very heated debates where one side take your article and say riding is exercise do they can go and do long rides to countryside or the twisties as long as they said they have zero contact.

    However, as you know zero contact is not possible as there will be other road users, the employee at the petrol station etc. one may come into contact with surfaces that may be infected, eg. Petrol pump handles, toilets etc.

    Although nobody plans to have accidents, but it may happen and take up precious medical resources. Thus, it is important that your article strongly urges your readers to be responsible and Stay Home. Put that point throughout your article as people are not reading your last section.

    Thanks.

        1. The problem is your articles has been quoted that motorcycling is exercise and people has been using your statement as a license to go and ride. Your stand is not clear. In addition, in Victoria, the premier defined what exercise means in his twitter feed but you did not report on that.

          Victoria Premier state that exercise is near your home. Not take a long trip.
          https://twitter.com/danielandrewsmp/status/1244408323891294208?lang=en

          The intention of Stay at Home is to prevent the need to use emergency services. So your definition of exercise does not take into account riding close to home. So you are responsible for people going out there to “exercise”. Do think really people go out to “exercise”. It is delusional if you think that their intention is to “exercise”. Not a responsible article as at this point in time your article encourages those who take the opinion that motorcycling is exercise.

          Change your tone and discourage people from riding during this COVID 19 crisis.

  24. So, interesting as it is, the whole debate seems to be specifically centred around road/Adventure bikes, what of the scenario, Tasmania, Son, knocked off School and, doing online learning, exercise is allowed?
    A 3 km trip from his home is private land that he uses to ride his dirt bike, with full consent of the land owner, and under full supervision of his Father. The bike must be taken there on the tray of a ute, is that classed as either nonessential or, essential travel? Is it exercise,?I’m sure it is, any dirt bike rider will tell you how physical it can be.
    Two folks, Dad and Son, one bike, allowed or not?
    The Dad, who rides a road bike has decided to knock off and leave his riding be or the time being.
    Interested in any clarification or, comments.

    1. Motorbike writer is attempting to clarify those very questions now god bless him , atm only Qld recognises SOLO motorbike riding as exercising , No others states do at present and if intercepted by polices you would possibly be looking at penalty in some states for any or all the scenarios you surgest , 2 up 100% out- it would be a bad look and get unwant attention atm. Maybe leave you sons bike at the property or close to ,ride you bicycle there and ride motorbike , l would say drive but that more then likely would be interpreted as non essential travel as its writen for now .

  25. As of 3rd April, 2020 12 noon… Very Interested to hear what the official position is in NSW RE solo or +1 household member as a pillion motorcycle ride with regards to the acceptable excuse to be out from your property.
    I’d love a ride to keep my sanity, but not prepared to cop a big fine for it.

  26. “Adventure riders should note that national parks are now closed”. Not true. Roads through national parks remain open (unless closed due to other reasons eg fire). Campgrounds, picnic areas, high visitation areas, historic sites may be closed. Check out https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/

  27. I understand that things are moving and unfolding quickly and there is confusion about what is and what is allowed. This confusion unfortunately extends to the police. It is not a desirable situation to be pinned by a cop and then to have to try show that you were not at fault. A lone rider with a family member as a pillion passenger is no greater threat to the community by going for a spin; not congregating and returning home than just staying home in the first place. I plan to go for a ride with my 16yo as a pillion – let’s see what happens…

  28. Can I now leave my helmet on with visor shut to avoid being infected whilst paying for fuel? Will service stations now enable the touch and go payment facility at the pump?

    1. good point – if Woolies are putting staff behind screens then maybe bike riders should be able to wear visors; let us know how you go 🙂 🙂 in fact I recommend leaving helmet on with visor down at all times 🙂 🙂 — some servos already have pay at pump

  29. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for that essential information. I shall now be able to get out without having to worry that I’m breaking the law. Keep up the good work – you provide a valuable source of info for riders.

  30. Thanks for making the effort to find out (and UPDATE) this accurate information. alas, trying to decipher the statements and press releases leads to so many conflicting conclusions especially due to the difference between state and national jurisdictions.

    having just purchased a new bike and seeing it just sit there has been hell.

    1. Me too, but l feel it’s the right thing to do, the more we resist the urge to go for a ride the sooner we will be able to ride. Just look at the rest of the world for a clue as to what can happen if we don’t comply.

      This could go on for sometime yet. So please do the right thing for everyone which most people are hence why it’s slowing the spread, but don’t become complacent too soon, hang in there it will be normal once again.

      Take care, stay healthy and be considerate to your fellow human. We are all in this together.

  31. The otherwise very informative graph above, shows the absolute bullshit that is China. Mathematically and statistically it is impossible, totally impossible, to go from 5,000 or more new cases being reported every day for a month, to absolutely zero additional cases within a time-frame of just 48 hours. Absolutely impossible without Divine intervention and that intervention dear friends, comes from the Chinese Government’s PR, Trade and Legal departments.

    1. Have you seen the measures China are employing? Beating people who flaunt the lockdown, welding/bolting barricades to prevent peeps opening their doors wider than to accept a small food/grocery parcels, and fleets (and fleets) of aeration trucks and handheld units spraying gawd knows what in the densest population centres ..they have been taking zero chances for the last month and a bit.
      America is the worry now. It has 4% of the worlds population, but accounts for 24% of the world’s C-19 cases, with a current mortality rate of 34%* …1000 peeps died in the last day …400 in NY alone – and you can bet Trump is trying his (self-serving) damnest to mask those figures.

      * – mortality rate is artificially high at the mo due to (potentially) somewhere between 25-50% of random tested peeps showing no symptoms (depending on the country testing), so given the best scenario of 50% that’s still a 24% mortality rate ..which will go down further as we get better at treating the sick (with existing immune boosting drugs used for other viral conditions like HIV etc). The converse thing to realise is that that cohort of asymptomatic peeps are spreading the virus in public as surely as a visibly sick person.

  32. Got into it big time with my partner. He says you are wrong – this is old news and out-of-date. I asked him to prove it to me so I could post it here and he told me to go to Vic Pol and I’d finf it. He also said NSW will book you and to look there too. I don’t plan on riding any time soon anyway as my arm is broken due to a cargo (box) truck taking me out on the West Gate Freeway 3 weeks ago, but I have a problem with attitudes…

  33. “Unfortunately, some of the rules have such big holes you could ride a Goldwing through them!” ??? – which rules are these? All seem pretty black and white fail to see how than can be confusion.

    As for “So you can legally ride to the shops, doctor, work and education facility without copping a massive on-the-spot fine” – why on earth would there be a “massive on-the-spot-fine” for doing this? Where is it in anyway indicated that such a fine is even remotely possible.

    Sorry this article is just another panpanic beat-up based on absolutely nothing except a beat-up by author 🙁 🙁

    1. The QLD legislation reads very specifically as though you are not allowed to leave your house unless it is ESSENTIAL (food, doctor, work, etc), but contrastingly the ‘purpose’ section says it is to limit gatherings of more than two people, which suggests that despite how strict and clear the rest of it is, that it is not intended to apply to a single individual not congregating with others.

      I wouldnt like to try the argument on the roadside with a trigger happy ego driven QLD cop itching to write tickets now there arent many people left on the roads to bully.

      1. Hi Leigh,
        Interesting you should say that.
        A mate got booked for speeding up Mt G today by a Qld cop and my mate specifically asked if it was ok to be out riding and the cop thought it was fine.
        Cheers,
        Mark.

        1. I’m guessing QLD’s finest will be even more diligent than normal to hand out fines during this time – speedings always an easy one. Their “judgement” is not something I’d be prepared to risk a few hundred dollars or more on. There was an unmarked bike patrolling Mt Nebo last Wednesday. Whether it was because of the fatality up there the previous weekend or them taking advantage of new powers is mute. It’s just not a great time to be out on a bike, but appreciate your effort to clarify the gov double-speak!

          cheers,
          Dave

  34. Just note that if someone tells you they are free of the virus because they have been tested and the result is negative it may not be true. It was only true at time of the test (days earlier).

  35. Imagine having a crash, maybe not your fault and ending up in hospital with all the coronaviris people. Just a thought. Stay safe.

    1. I’ve heard that argument many times, the only problem is that during my life I have been in hospital about three times. Every one of those emanated from home!
      I could therefore argue that staying at home for me may result in a hospital visit. It has, 100% of the time so far.

      1. Hi guys,
        In fact, home handyman accidents are among the most common admissions to hospital emergency departments!
        And with so many people heading to Bunnings to do home renos during the lockdown, hospitals could be overloaded.
        Cheers,
        Mark

  36. The China statistic on that graph make me laugh. At least try to make your censorship of the facts a little believable!

  37. Talk about the Queensland’s Draconian Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment Act.
    I saw a video where the cops had pulled over this guy in a car. He said they had stopped him just a few days back and had many times before that. The police explained that as he is known to be a member of a out law motorcycle group they will pull him over every time he is on the road, even when in his car.

    Long story short the video shows 6 cops (general duties and detectives) detaining him for an hour as they searched him and his car. A win for law and order and a big slap on the back for a job well done Mr QLD police force.

    Watching this I said. Well there they go.
    If they, (his mates in this motorcycle gang) want to move say drugs or some other illegal thing from point A to point B, all they need do is send this guy 5 minutes ahead of them and he will flush out any police along the way leaving the path clear for them to do as such people do.

    Not really very smart of the QLD police if you ask me.

    1. Warren, as an unsolicited advocate for all OMC’s I am disturbed but not surprised by some of your comments and wish to bring to everyone’s attention the undeniable fact that the practical application of the various state anti-bikie laws are in contravention of the UN Rule of Law which states:

      “For the United Nations (UN) system, the rule of law is a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated, and which are consistent with international human rights norms and standards. It requires measures to ensure adherence to the principles of supremacy of the law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, fairness in the application of the law, separation of powers, participation in decision-making, legal certainty, avoidance of arbitrariness, and procedural and legal transparency.”

      Clearly what you describe Warren amounts to Discrimination and Harassment. Since when has it been legal to discriminate against people? Since when has it been legal to harass people? These are fundamentally flawed policing policies that are counter-productive to rehabilitating people. But obviously many of the rank hypocrite police and politicians are not genuinely interested in rehabilitation. Bikies are readily identifiable ‘public enemy number ones’ with whom it is easy to score political points as being ‘tough on cime’. Former SA Police Commissioner Mal Hyde declared ‘bikie crime is over-revved’. The reality is, some police and some politicians are worse criminals than some of the bikies and unfit to issue ‘Control Orders’. This will be proven in coming months.

      As for COVID-19. What danger to the community is a lone rider or two riders taking off from and returning home without stopping? Have the ‘powers to be’ stopped to consider that by forcing the community into lock down with many people working from home some of those people are involved in commercial-in-confidence tele-conferences where privacy should be observed. In that case the non-employee should leave the home to allow privacy. Therefore, going for a ride might not only be good ‘therapy’ for the rider but might also aid business to recover from the Financial Catastrophe looming large on the nation?

  38. Personally, I’d be avoiding the situation. Are you sure that you’re plague free? Unless you’ve been tested, the best you can say is that you’re asymptomatic – and that’s not the same as plague free.

  39. At top of article you state ‘so long as riders are not in groups of two or more’.

    Then further down you state. ‘The official answer is yes, so long as you do not ride in a group of more than two.’

    So is two ok ?

  40. They say it’s at a police officers discretion if he /she fines so where would you stand if your booked at an officer’s discretion , if they don’t agree with the government’s information supplied to you which happens regularly I’m assuming it’d be up to the individual to take it to court at their expense to ask for a ruling , I’d be asking the police area commander from road policing command what his take is on it

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