Race and Chase

I was riding with a group of friends on sportsbikes in distinctive race leathers when we passed Captain Sensible on a stationary R 1200 GS, with a white helmet and black Gore-Tex, but no dayglo.

We were shifting on a national speed limit single carriageway. There were a couple of non-IAM overtakes, a few of the lads popped wheelies along the way, and I have to admit all of us crossed double white lines. So far, so typical for a Sunday afternoon ride.

Nine miles later, we were stopped by the police, before the GS came around the corner at a right old lick. It turns out that it was a Police camera bike.

The officer advised us we’d be prosecuted with dangerous driving. He showed us the video from his bike, but all he’d caught was himself averaging 80mph and over 110mph; none of us riding at all.

The only time you see us is when he starts the bike camera up and the last two riders are in front of the stationary bike. Can we be nicked for dangerous driving if he hasn’t actually seen our riding?

Name and address withheld

Answer

No. If they work out the average speed to be double the speed limit, there is a presumption your driving is dangerous, but you can’t prosecute on presumption alone. The officer never moved at twice the speed limit, let alone with you in shot.

You may be prosecuted for speeding though, because the officer can say where he first saw you, and work out time over distance to where you were stopped and therefore, your average speed.

The two lads caught on camera have the biggest problem, because it can be proved where they started and finished, and the time in between. If the police rider averaged about 80, then the speed of your group can’t accurately be proved to be more than this, and your time over distance can only be proved to show a faster speed, but not how much faster.

Do not plead guilty to dangerous driving: you will lose all of your driving licence, including entitlement to drive car, bike, HGV or bus, and you will have to take a compulsory extended re-test.

Mind you, if you had been on camera, your riding would be dangerous and you would be found guilty of dangerous driving if the wheelie poppers and white line bandits could be identified.

You’re probably going to get prosecuted for speeding, but you all need to keep your mouths firmly shut, and let the police rider prove your speed and that all of you were the same riders he saw when he gave chase.

A word to the wise: Power Ranger bright leathers may look cool, but they are easy to identify. Plain black makes you a lot harder to pick out!

Andrew Dalton

Posted by Andrew Prendergast. Posted on: September 16, 2005 at 12:00 am

Andrew has been riding motorcycles since he was 10 years old and currently rides a GSX1400 as his daily commuter whether it is sunny or snowing. In addition, he is currently restoring an old Honda CB750 K1. Andrew practices across all areas of motorcycle law, with his practice involving both civil claims and motoring defence work.