Do not fall for the oldest tricks in the book which are favoured questions, ‘Why do you think I stopped you?’ and ‘How fast were you going’. Or the other great favourite, ‘Can you tell me what the speed limit is that you were riding through?’
The wrong answer to give is, ‘Well I was doing about 45, I think it is probably a 30 and I reckon you pulled me because I went the wrong way round a keep left bollard’. If you go this way you really are going to get a nicking. A non-committal response is the best one, because if the Police Officer has got a calibrated speedo and he wants to nick you for speeding, he is going to nick you.
While removing your helmet and waiting for the Police Officer to get out of their vehicle of off their motorcycle have a good look around for visual clues which will tell you what the speed limit actually is. Street lights indicate it is a 30mph zone, absence of street lights and a single carriageway means 60, dual carriageway means 70 and 40s and 50s are governed by speed signs and repeaters.
If a blue shirted officer with a black cap gets out of a small car the chances are that car will not have a calibrated speedo so this Officer’s speedo cannot be used in evidence.
Once the Officer is upon you, you have a golden minute during which time they will decide, the best case scenario, whether or not to, ‘have a chat and a mind how you go’, or worst case scenario, ‘you will be reported for the offences of…’.
The key thing that influences most Officers is the state of the bike, if it looks generally neglected, the chain is slack and a little look down your brake caliper shows you have no friction material left on your brake pads, you are nicked. In fact, you are quite likely to have your bike impounded which, obviously, is a complete pain in the neck.
After the condition of your bike, the most important thing is your attitude. Do not let ego, pride, a sense of outrage, your inherent dislike of coppers or the general unfairness of the world make a situation worse than it should be.
Finally listen to the Officer and gauge their body language. If they smile, are reasonably friendly, or engage with you in a fairly chatty way, the chances are that you’ll be on your way. If they kick things off with an immediate rollicking that’s also pretty good because most Police Officers will either nick or scold, but not both.
If you get cold distant, politeness and the Police Officer approaches you with a clipboard in hand, then, I am afraid, you are nicked.
Follow the link if you missed part 1 of Behaviour when pulled
Bike Magazine August 2014