If your spirited riding gets caught on video, what’ll it mean for you?
I was riding with a group of friends, and we do ride quickly. We tend to stick close to 30s and 40s but everywhere else speed limits are advisory and I do not take their advice.
I was riding in my group when we passed a blue, pretty standard Yamaha R1. The rider was in leathers stopped in a lay-by with his helmet on.
After about six miles we headed straight into a two car police road block and the blue R1 followed up fairly shortly thereafter, with blue lights displayed.
During our ride there was a bit of exuberance on the journey including a couple of wheelies and some overtakes on double white lines. When we pulled over the R1-mounted officer with the blue lights had a video system on his bike which he showed us.
Apart from where we were pulled over we do not appear on the bike mounted video apart from when the copper saw us, not putting too fine a point on it, come flying past him at the lay-by.
All of us have now been interviewed under caution, and all of us have been warned by the interviewing officer that we would be reported for dangerous driving, driving without due care and speeding. If I lose my licence I lose my job. My wife wants me to go guilty, but I don’t. I have trawled all the forums but the advice is all over the place. What should I do?
As a preliminary point, look at the evidence. The bike mounted video shows nothing apart from your group of bikes haring past the police bike and the police rider tearing off after you, his VASCAR showing that he has hit 112mph in pursuit at one point and still not getting anyone in shot.
In a 60mph zone the police officer from a standing start until he stopped you at the road block covered an average 82mph in a 60. It is therefore provable that you were travelling at a speed well in excess of the 60mph limit.
There are three pieces of admissible evidence against you. The first is the police constable’s own evidence that you were travelling at a speed sufficient to make him think that you were speeding. The second part is the video footage showing all of you, riding at speed in front of the layby where he was stationary.
If that speed shows you travelling at twice the speed limit (in this case 120mph) then that might well be enough to get you prosecuted for dangerous. However I am going to assume this snatch of video evidence does not show 120mph but it probably will show a speed in excess of 6Omph, because the police have told you they have calculated that your average speed was 90mph in a 60. However if you were travelling at 120mph at that point then you are in real trouble.
The third piece of evidence is an inference to be drawn from his average speed of 82mph and never getting your group back in sight. It hit 60mph on his own VASCAR at 3.7 seconds after starting his bike up and thereafter rode in excess of the speed limit for the entire duration.
Because you were never seen in video, there is no evidence of you or your colleagues crossing double white line systems or hoisting the front wheel up. You should therefore offer a plea to speeding, and accept that you broke the speed limit by 20mph, but the Crown cannot prove, or even allege, wheelies or white line overtakes. DO NOT plead guilty to dangerous. That is a mandatory one year ban and a compulsory retest on all your classes of licence. The Crown cannot prove that you were riding dangerously. However at the risk of sounding like your dad, if the driving licence is so essential to your job you might want to calm down a bit.
Had the more exuberant riding been caught on camera a dangerous driving would have stuck to you like chewing gum to a blanket. Therefore, unless that initial snap of video footage shows an average speed of more than 120mph, even for a short period, then you are not going to go down for dangerous, but it is more by luck than judgement.
Also, be aware that you are now known to your local police. The fact that an unmarked police sports bike was placed on what is your regular Sunday blast route probably does mean that you have annoyed enough people, or coppers, for them to put out an unmarked pursuit vehicle for you.
The police shift around their fleet of unmarked pursuit bikes between various forces and, basically, chief constables have to bid for them. Putting out that unmarked police bike probably cost your local force real money and you can infer that your local feds have your card and your reg’ number marked. I would say that you really do want to calm down a bit in future.
Fast Bikes Summer 2017