MAG Ireland has recently been made aware of a number of cases where riders were denied petrol at filling stations unless/until they dismount. Different justifications were put forward for this by forecourt staff when asked the reason why such a rule is in force. It appears many were under the impression that this was as a result of an EU Directive, or other statutory regulation.
MAG Ireland’s research officer asked the HSA (Health and Safety Authority) to clarify, and they have responded to the effect that they do not have a policy which requires riders to dismount before filling up.
The HSA referred to guidance published by the Petroleum Enforcement Liaison Group (PELG) in the UK (click here for PELG website). This guidance document is just that – a guidance document. It does not have a statutory basis. Known as “The Red Guide” it’s official title is “Petrol Filling Stations Guidance on Managing The Risks Of Fire & Explosion”. You will find a copy of it online here: http://www.energyinst.org/
Pages 71 of that guidance document says “motor cyclists and their passengers should dismount from their machines” to ensure that petrol is dispensed safely and it appears that this is the basis on which this rule stands. The PELG is a UK organisation, and it would appear that this guidance is being pushed out here by fuel companies via UK head offices.
Clearly, this advice precludes fully refueling motorcycles which are supplied with only a side stand. Custom and practice has long been for the rider to sit astride the machine in an upright position to allow him/her to fully refuel before dismounting to pay. MAG Ireland’s research officer is now following up this issue with PELG to see whether they are open to amending the advice in their guidance document.