They were cruising along at about 50mph in a 60mph limit. As I was looking to overtake them, they hit a bump and the next thing one of the surfboards fell off the top of the wagon and bounced into the road in front of me. I stood absolutely no chance of avoiding it and the next thing I know I’m looking skywards completely winded and struggling to breathe.

Two faces then appeared above me and Dave and Dave (yes, they were both called Dave) helped me up. These were the two ‘surfer dudes’. They were very apologetic and to be fair really nice lads. Basically, one of the Daves had cocked up and not strapped the last board on properly.

Anyway, a policeman happened to be driving past and decided to stop. Fair enough. He then started berating the Daves and said he was going to nick driver Dave for driving with an insecure load. I told the policeman to calm down, that these things happen and they have insurance to pay out for my damaged bike and kit, etc., (thankfully I did not break any bones).

He shouted at me to keep my ‘big nose out’ whilst he wrote Dave the driver a ticket. Once he had dealt with that, he then turned his attention to my bike and found that I had a bald rear tyre, took a photograph and then issued a fixed penalty ticket. I couldn’t believe it. And with that, he left the scene offering no help or assistance whatsoever. He was the least sympathetic human being I have ever had the misfortune to meet.

Therefore, through no fault of my own, I got taken out by a surfboard and got a ticket for the privilege. So my questions are this. I genuinely did not know I had a bald tyre (I accept it was bald and down to the canvas to be fair) and was off to get the bike serviced. Can I use this as a defence, i.e. it would have been spotted by the mechanic and then replaced? Also, will me riding with a bald tyre affect my claim against Dave the driver and his insurer?


It certainly appears the police officer got out of the wrong side of bed that day. So first things first. If he has turned up and started shouting at you and the Daves, you could consider a complaint against him. Whilst I get he has a job to do, he shouldn’t be an arse and shout at people.

Moving on from that, your suggested defence is no defence I am afraid. The law says you are responsible. By all means you can go to court and try and defend this, but if the officer turns up with his photograph of your bald tyre and gives evidence, you will lose and be found guilty. Therefore, my advice is you accept the fixed penalty offer of three points and a £100 fine and move forward with your life.

As for your claim against driver Dave and his insurer, unless they can prove your bald tyre contributed to the accident (which seems unlikely) then there should be no issue.

Andrew Prendergast

More Bikes September 2023