I am being prosecuted for an accident where I was riding along a major carriageway, when an old dear in a car pulled out on top of me. I do not want to give away too many of my details, because the case is still live and ongoing but I was riding a brightly coloured sports bike with twin headlights, and whilst I might have been speeding a bit, it was not by much – maybe 5mph over the speed limit.
I hit the side of her and there was quite a lot of damage to her car, my bike, and me. The car driver completely failed to give way, but I’m the one being prosecuted.
The real difficulty is that the police officer who came to the scene looked at my speedometer and saw that it was stuck at 80mph, and I am now being prosecuted for dangerous driving, for driving at 80 in a 30. I might have been speeding, granted, but not by much. I am not a complete idiot. I have got a Legal Aid Solicitor who has effectively told me to plead guilty, because the speedometer is good evidence. I know it is not because I know what it is saying is wrong. What can I do?
I deliberately decided to keep your case anonymous as it is an ongoing case. The advice you received from your Legal Aid Solicitor is just wrong.
Regrettably, Legal Aid Solicitors are very often well meaning, most of them are good lawyers, excellent on their feet, and their real problem is that they simply do not have the resources to rebut the presumption which is being made by the police officer.
It is very obvious from the photographs that you have shown me that this was a pretty severe impact between the car and your bike. All of your fairing is smashed to pieces, your clocks have clearly been involved in the impact, and you have left only a short skid mark which appears to be a rear wheel skid mark only. You have reacted to this vehicle which has pulled out very close to the impact point which is clear physical evidence of lack of speed on your part. It also indicates to me that your reaction was at the point when you must have been in sight of the car driver who pulled out on top of you.
A motorcycle speedometer is a relatively flimsy device which carries no weight, which is used only to turn a mechanical or electric signal into a reading on a clock. If you took a speedometer apart you would see that the needle is balanced and affixed to what is a very thin pin, which feeds off either a cable or an electronic signal. There has clearly been a heavy frontal impact to your bike, and the speedometer needle will land exactly where it is going to land. I suggest that you spend your money on a Solicitor with good solid experience of defending road traffic cases, because your case is winnable.
Andrew Dalton is a highly experienced trial lawyer who delights in taking on difficult and demanding motorcycle cases. He has a tough and relentless litigation style and is utterly focused on getting the best possible outcomes for his clients.