Courting Disaster

Courting Disaster

You’ve been pulled. The copper is glaring at you and you’ve got that sick feeling in your stomach. But fear not. There are always ways and means to turn points into pardons. Sometimes. SuperBike finds out when

You’ve been pulled over. Don’t panic. Maybe you’re angry, maybe you’re upset, probably nervous too, or a mix of all three. But whatever you do, don’t panic. Yet.

The way you react immediately after a tug can get you off the hook. Be friendly and courteous. Get off the bike, take your helmet off and read the situation.

It’s always good to know what they’ve tugged you for. It may not be for speed – it may be because he’s spotted something hanging from your bike and is doing you a favour, so don’t go on the offensive.

Whatever the pull is for, respond to what he says. The opening gambit is normally ‘What speed were you doing?’ or ‘Do you know what I’m stopping you for, sir?’ These are standard questions, so don’t incriminate yourself by saying you were doing 45mph in a 30 zone. He has to prove that you were speeding, so simply ask him what he thinks you were doing wrong.

Gary Dickson is a traffic cop and he says it’s always best if you stay calm and collected after you’ve been stopped. He says: “One time we stopped a bike because he had a sidestand that was wagging around and we simply wanted to stop him and let him know. He got off the bike apologising for doing a ton earlier on up the road. We hadn’t even seen him. Just ask why we’ve stopped you and be courteous. Don’t offer more information than we ask for.”

Don’t panic, yet

Are you still not panicking? Good. Check out his motor discretely. Is he a traffic cop on a mission with some form of speed detection device in it? Or have you been unlucky and randomly been pulled by a panda car back from the doughnut shop? If he’s a beat-bobby, he’ll have an uncalibrated speedo like you or I, if he’s got the latest speeding kit installed, ask him when it was last calibrated.

If you think that sweet-talking isn’t going to get you out of the hole you’ve made for yourself, now’s the time to start taking things seriously. Make sure you have a notebook and pen under your seat-hump or jacket. Be pleasant rather than sanctimonious, but inform the officers that you’d like to keep an accurate and contemporaneous note of proceedings, in case things go further.

If things move on, you’ll be told what you’re being done for and either be given a fixed-penalty notice (FPN) or summonsed to court. If it’s an obvious FPN, then you can choose to simply pay it and learn your lesson. You may be offered enrolment at a ‘speeding school’, where local authorities try and ‘educate’ people as to the perils of excessive speed. This normally costs a few quid more than the fine, but your attendance means you don’t get any points added to your license.

If things are a little more dubious and you’re feeling feisty after being offered a fixed penalty notice and points, then think very carefully.

Motor Defence Team, the motoring prosecutions side of White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors has a fantastic success rate at getting prosecutions dropped. Unsurprisingly, they are trying to keep a low profile as they have already upset all of the ‘Speed Camera Partnerships’ in the land but Andrew Dalton says, “The Camera Partnerships are set up so you get the fine and Fixed Penalty and you just take it, but behind this prosecution there are a number of defences and we are often horrified to see the way that there is a presumption of guilt and frightened motorists just accept points when they have absolutely solid defences.” MDT operate a scheme for you to speak directly to one of their specialist barristers for a fixed fee, so you know whether sticking your hands up is a good plan and their highest success rates are for bikers.

If you’re looking at a summons then it’s a wait to see if they’re going to proceed, which generally happens before six-months has elapsed.

Defending yourself?

You think throwing a wig on makes you Judge fucking Judy? Forget it. Lawyers are trained to pick holes in the reasoning of much better prepared arguments than yours. So leave it to the pros, it’s their job

COPS & NOBBERS PART II – Courting Disaster
Superbike Magazine – November 2006
By: Bertie Simmonds

Disclaimer: This article is reproduced from Superbike Magazine – It’s views do not represent White Dalton’s

Posted by Andrew Dalton. Last modified: March 26, 2018 at 11:27 am

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.

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