I was riding my bike along the M40 when I got caught behind some biff in a car, who was hovering at between 69 and 71 mph in the outside lane. The two inside lanes were empty, and I was part of a queue of vehicles that were stuck behind this spanner.
I had flashed him a couple of times, and put my right hand indicator on to suggest to him politely to get out of the outside lane. I then moved into the middle lane, and the guy still gave no indication that he was going to move. I moved right over to the white lines of the middle and inside lane and passed him on the inside and then tucked back into the inside lane; therefore moving from lane three to lane one, and in so doing I passed the idiot while he was still in the outside lane.
I then saw blue lights emerging, also in the middle lane, from the queue stuck behind the slow car driver. I got pulled over, and the Police Officer told me that I had carried out an illegal undertaking manoeuvre and he was considering reporting me for the offence of driving without due care.
I went ballistic and told him that he should be nicking the idiot that was causing the hold up and I also told him that he could see that there was a driver who was hogging the outside lane, who he should have nicked, instead, like usual, the Police have a go at the biker.
I am now facing a charge of riding without due care, and the Officer estimates that my speed to be 85mph in a 70, but he is not going to try and nick me for speeding.
Should I plead guilty or not guilty?
Name and address withheld
Unfortunately, what you’ve done here is failed the attitude test. I suspect if you had listened politely to the Police Officer, he would have been quite understanding of why you moved lanes, because your manoeuvre does not sound inherently dangerous. However, you are not entitled to travel at more than 70 mph on the motorway, and there are only very limited exceptions where it is legal to overtake on the inside and, unfortunately, that is what you did.
The lead driver may well have been guilty of careless and inconsiderate driving – but that act is not your problem in this instance.
In short, particularly with this incident having been caught on video, I suspect you will be facing three points and a modest fine, even though I am surprised the Officer has decided to prosecute you.
There is a good lesson to be learnt here. The vast majority of Traffic Officers are people that enjoy cars and bikes, and I suspect the Police Officer simply wanted to have a quiet word with you, but you going off at the deep end escalated the point, where it was inevitable that you were going to be nicked.
I suspect you would not be writing to Fast Bikes if you had reacted differently to the Police Officer. That leaves you in your current predicament, and as a matter of law, particularly with the offence being caught on video, you are nicked. Life isn’t fair, but you can stack the odds in your favour.
Fast Bikes Summer 2012
Andrew Dalton has been writing articles for Fast Bikes Magazine for a considerable period and have condensed what we believe are the most useful articles to you. White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors deal with personal injury claims and our sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deal with any road traffic offences.