Child pillion - parental consent

I am divorced with a 16 year old son. My ex-wife is accusing me of breaking the law by having my son ride pillion on the bike without her consent. She quotes a bill of Parliament on riding as a pillion passenger stating that not only one but both parents must give consent. I thought that while my son is with me then it was I that had and took the responsibility of care. Are you able to clarify and interpret the law please?
Anonymous, by e-mail

Answer

There is indeed a requirement for parental consent for carriage of children as passengers on motor cycles. The rule state that “no person under the age of 17 may be carried on a motorcycle without the consent of a person having parental responsibility for that person…otherwise that person is committing an offence.”

The rules specifically refer to the consent of “a” person. The rules do not refer to both parents having to give consent. It is therefore my view is that you do not need your ex-wife’s consent as you have parental responsibility for your child. However, your ex-wife is free to apply to the court for an injunction if she wishes to do so and then it would be for a judge to decide on the specific facts of the case, for example if there is any evidence of reckless riding which I am sure there is not.

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