Tag Archives: speed

Defences to a Lidar speeding fine

Speeding fines based on Lidar or radar readings are difficult to defend, but not impossible, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

The Ducati-riding solicitor has previously provided our readers with tips on what to do when pulled over by police and defences to speeding fines based on a police officer’s estimate or “check speed”.

Check out his tips on defending a Lidar or radar speeding fine:

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled lidar
Chris on his Ducati at the track

Lidar readings

Lidar speed readings are potentially more accurate than “check speeds” and police estimates which were covered in my previous article.

So they need more careful analysis prior to any court hearing.

“LIDAR” stands for Light Detection and Ranging which means it uses pulsed lasers of light.

Police aim the hand-held Lidar device at an object and a laser beam of light bounces back and forth to measure changes in the distance over time.

It is the most accurate form of speed assessment.

Radar devices work the same way, but use radio waves instead of light.

Calibration

However, like any measuring instrument, these can be compromised depending on calibration and manner of use.

Failure to produce a S137 Road Transport Act certificate at a hearing could call into question the reading obtained.

We also consider whether the device has been properly calibrated. The prosecution would have to produce a certificate signed by the police officer at the start and end of their shift certifying the device was tested over a measured prescribed distance of 25m and 50m.

Each Lidar has a prolaser testing book, which is completed and signed off when the tests are done.

Lidar use

LIDAR Low speed threshold a danger hidden demons lidar
LIDAR is used around the world

We also consider the use of the Lidar on a motorist.

  • Was there a clear line of sight for the officer during the duration of the test?
  • Was the required three-second observation and testing likely, based on available distance for the test and the alleged speed? For example if the maximum sighting distance from the officer is 30m and you are meant to be travelling at 30m/second they only have one second to conduct the test which is insufficient time.
  • Was there excessive movement of the unit?
  • Is there the potential for the laser to be reflected back from another surface?

Radar devices

If the radar device uses a Doppler beam, we again consider calibration.

However, there are other contentious issues with a Doppler beam as they are much wider than a Lidar beam.

The old Silver Eagle Radar used to have a beam of about 20x20m for every hundred metres of projection.

This creates confusion over which vehicle provided the speed reading.

I have run cases where a small vehicle such as a motorcycle was traveling in front of a speeding four-wheel drive and may not be the vehicle giving the speed reading.

Police always argue that if there are multiple vehicles in the beam then an error reading should show on the device but that is subject to question and scientific challenge.

We also consider whether there were multiple vehicles in the beam and whether there were many vehicles of a similar size. This raises the question of identity of the offending vehicle.

Use of mobile radars in areas where traffic isn’t sparse raises the issue of target identification.

Use guidelines

LIDAR radar speed gun pulled
LIDAR radar speed gun

Guidelines for the use of Lidar and radar have previously contained prohibitions such as at the bottom of a hill or within 50m of a change in speed zone sign.

Those restrictions on police have now been considerably eased in many jurisdictions, despite public criticism.

However that information may be relevant in a defence or in a plea of guilty.

Also, keep in mind that both these devices can be used in approaching or receding mode, which means they can hide in the bushes and activate the device once you have gone past them and shoot you from behind.

When defending these cases, especially the Lidar, some magistrates wish to have scientific evidence from the defence supporting the basis of the challenge to the instrument.

Disclaimer

This article is for reader information and interest only and is based on New South Wales law. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice.

Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. You must seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances. Chris is happy to talk to anyone needing clarification. He can bet contacted on 0418 211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Awesome electric bike sets records

If you think electric motorcycles are quiet and dull, listen to this university-made racer as it heads off to set speed records at the UK Straightliners Land Speed meeting at the weekend.

With Guy Martin a no-show to break his UK speed record of 270.965mph (436.075km/h) from the previous week, it was left to businessman Zef Eisenberg to take the limelight.

Guy set his mile record on a turbocharged 830bhp (619kW) Suzuki Hayabusa streamliner.

Guy Martin
Guy Martin aboard the Busa

But he didn’t turn up for the main event at the weekend at Elvington Airfield, North Yorkshire, to break the 300mph barrier as expected.

Records broken

Zef Eisenberg & electric bike @ Elvington Airfield, Nth Yorks 21 Sept 2019 (©Harvey Brewster) set records
Zef on the electric bike (Images: ©Harvey Brewster)

There were still plenty of records broken, but the most interesting were those set by Zef aboard the Nottingham University’s Isle of Man TT zero bike.

His new ACU national category records include: the FIM Flying Kilometre speed of 185.103mph (297.894km/h), with best one-way speed of 194.086mph (312.351km/h), with GPS peak speeds of 197mph (317.041km/h), the FIM Flying Quarter Mile, the FIM Standing Quarter, the FIM Standing Mile and ACU Flying Quarter Mile.

Zef set the records as a tribute to the late Madmax team member Daley Mathison who was set to ride the electric motorbike in the Isle of Man TT Zero race.

Sadly and tragically he was killed in a serious crash at the IOM TT in 2019 and never got to ride the electric motorbike.  

Developed by Nottingham University and Prof. Miquel Gimeno Fabra, the bike has been an IOM TT podium winner for three years in a row.

The hefty 300kg bike is capable of doing IOM laps in 1m:21 at speeds of 250km/h.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Slug riders over regional crashes: Austroads

Regional speed limits should be reduced up to 30km/h and riders slugged with a levy to fix rural roads, according to a new Austroads report.

The worrying proposals are included in the Guide to Road Safety Part 5: Road Safety for Rural and Remote Areas.

It points out that motorcyclist deaths have remained stable in major cities over the past decade, but increased in regional and remote Australia by up to almost 50% in recent years.

The report suggests “safety improvements on popular motorcycle routes” potentially funded by a levy on compulsory third-party injury insurance for riders as well as speed limits aligned with “road attributes”.Austroads regional road safety report

Poor-quality regional roads

Since regional roads are in such a poor state, that means speed limits would come down if Austroads had its way. (Austroads is the prime research authority advising Australian and New Zealand governments and transport authorities.)

The Austroads’ report suggests speeds be set to “minimise the effect of a crash given the current road infrastructure”.

It notes that the ability of riders to survive a crash “decreases rapidly” above 30km/h and says speed limits should be set “within these tolerance limits”.

The report points out that speeds limits in Sweden and the Netherlands are based on “harm minimisation principles in contrast to those set in Australia”.

Road type Australia Sweden Netherlands
Local streets 50km/h or more 30km/h 30km/h
Other streets 60km/h or more 50km/h 50km/h
Undivided road (low quality) 100km/h 70km/h 80km/h
Undivided roads (good quality) 100-110km/h 90km/h 100km/h
Motorways/divided roads 100-110km/h 110km/h 120km/h

It follows a similar suggestion at a Victorian Road Trauma Summit to reduce speed limits on unsealed country roads from 100km/h to 80km/h.

This has been a hobby horse of Victorian Assistant Police Commissioner Doug Fryer for several years as this 2017 video shows.

Rider numbers increase

The report does acknowledge that the increase in regional motorcyclist fatalities is largely due to the increase in the riding popularity.

Rider registrations are up 5% a year while estimated kilometres travelled is up 4% a year.

It also notes that motorcyclist fatality rates per registered vehicle and per kilometre travelled actually decreased by 0.9% from 2008-10 to 2016.

However, the report points out a shift from urban deaths to regional deaths over the same period:

  • Regional motorcycle fatalities increased 15.4% and remote deaths were up a whopping 49.3%;
  • 59% of motorcyclist fatalities occurred in regional and remote Australia during the four-year period 2012-2015, an increase of 53% over the previous four years;
  • Most regional motorcycle crashes were riders running off the road and hitting a tree, barrier, sign or other roadside hazard;
  • The typical motorcycle fatality or hospitalisation in regional and remote areas is a male motorcyclist who is riding recreationally during daylight hours on the weekend and is involved in a single-vehicle crash; and
  • Motorcycles are over-represented in crashes with animals with more than 80% involving kangaroos, but it also noted an underreporting of animal-related crashes.

Speed management

The report admits a lack of data on motorcycle crashes.

Yet it says speed limits in regional and remote areas are “high and do not necessarily reflect the risks of travelling on a given road (eg unsealed surface), or the existing infrastructure (eg unprotected trees close to the road)”.

Speed management is necessary in the absence of adequate infrastructure,” it says.

“The primary means for speed compliance is via enforcement, which is inherently difficult in regional and remote areas due to expansive road networks and a lack of resources.”

It suggests “vehicle-based speed management technologies” which could include speed limiters.

“Any gains in speed management are beneficial,” it concludes.Lower speed limits on rural intersections regional

Safety ‘initiatives’

Austroads reports that “initiatives” to improve motorcyclist safety have included:

Safety suggestions

Apart from a reduction in regional speed limits, the report calls for a number of other moves, particularly targeting riders:

  • National mass media campaigns targeting motorcyclists;
  • riders encouraged to ride bikes with ABS and emerging autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology that detects imminent forward collisions and reacts by automatically applying the brakes without rider intervention;
  • motorcycle blackspot/black programs for regional areas;
  • use more flexible roadside barriers and signs;
  • install more under-rails on existing barriers;
  • audit regional road hazards for motorcycle-specific hazards, particularly by motorcycles such as Queensland’s award-winning instrumented bike; 

    Brett Hoskin with TMR audit bike
    Queensland’s road audit bike

  • improve regional emergency services crash response times (click here for more details); and
  • examine more graduated restrictions for novice riders including a minimum period with a car licence before motorcycle licensing as in Queensland and “licensing options” for returning riders.

The report states that AEB technology reduces low-speed rear-end crashes for passenger vehicles, but notes that it is not yet available for motorcycles.

“Once AEB technology has been improved and is readily available in Australia, its benefits should be promoted to motorcyclists in regional and remote areas who are looking to purchase a new motorcycle,” it states.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

NSW emergency speed rule extended

Despite criticism from motoring organisations and a motorcycle cop being hit by a driver, NSW has extended its rule to slow traffic to 40km/h past emergency services.

The 12-month trial will be extended to a permanent law on September 26  but with some changes.

It will now include tow trucks and and motorway recovery vehicles, police will stop in visible locations and new warning signs will be deployed by emergency services.

However, it will no longer apply on roads with speed limits of 90km/h or more.

Instead, motorists will have to slow to a “safe and reasonable” speed, give “sufficient space” to emergency workers and “change lanes to keep the lane next to the vehicle free if it is safe to do so” as is required in most US states.

Concerns

Then Motorcycle Council of NSW Chairman Steve Pearce told us when the trial started that it was “just a matter of time until a serious incident occurs as a result of this rule”.

He was right. In December 2018, a NSW motorcycle cop was hit by a car when he pulled over another car on a 100km/h highway.

Cop injured under new speed rule crash police emergency 40km/h extended
Cop injured during speed rule trial

The 70-year-old female driver was one of 936 fined $446 and three demerit points during the trial period.

Steve’s major concern with the rule was that vulnerable motorcyclists, such as the NSW police officer, would be at risk of being rear-ended.

In fact, the person the rule was meant to protect became the victim.

Confusing rule

The extended rule could be confusing for motorists travelling interstate during holidays.

Emergency vehicles are defined as police cars, fire engines and ambulances displaying red and blue flashing lights and/or sounding their siren.

In Victoria it includes all “escort vehicles”. In SA, SES vehicles are included and in WA it extends to all emergency vehicles, including tow trucks, RAC roadside assistance patrol vehicles, and Main Roads Incident Response Vehicles removing road debris and broken-down vehicles.

The rule does not apply if the emergency vehicle is on the other side of the road where there is a median strip.

Fines also vary

Cop asleep on motorcycle extended
Would you slow down for this?

In South Australia, you can cop a maximum fine up to $1007 and some motorists have been disqualified for six months. In WA it is $300 and three points.

Victoria’s fine is $272.05, but there is a maximum court penalty of $777.30 if you unsuccessfully challenge the fine. The RACV says it could be difficult for motorists to see flashing emergency vehicles’ lights over a hill and have enough time to slow down to 40km/h.

The Queensland Government has rejected Police Union calls for a similar road rule.

Tips for avoiding tail-ender

If riders see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle, there are several things they can do to avoid a rear-ender.

  • Look at traffic behind you to assess the danger;
  • Indicate and change lanes away from the emergency vehicle, if there is a vacant lane to move into;
  • If not, switch on the hazard lights;
  • Brake as smoothly as possible, perhaps activating the brake light on and off to attract the attention of following traffic; and
  • Search for an escape route, possibly between lanes or on the road edge.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Holiday riders caught on covert TruCAM

Brisbane riders who spent Wednesday’s Ekka Holiday riding the famed Mt Glorious Rd may find they have an unwelcome TruCAM speeding fine in the mail in the next couple of weeks.

This video was recorded by rider David Englebright, showing police in the bushes using the TruCAM hand-held laser digital camera to record speeding offences.

Holiday surprise

“Being a public holiday in Brisbane a lot of people were out enjoying a drive or ride over Mt Glorious,” he says.

“They will get a rude shock in a few weeks.

“Little did they know a policemen was hiding in the bushes of the far side of Mt Glorious on a downhill selection of road with a TruCAM taking pics of vehicles going down the hill.

Video TruCAM
David on his Triumph

“This is a section where a billy cart would do more than 60km/h.

“This is no deterrent to speeding, just revenue raising.”

While there is no longer any requirement for speed camera detection signs, the Queensland police website clearly states: “It is not the policy of the Queensland Police Service to deliberately conceal speed cameras.”

Covert concerns

This is yet another incident which may spark debate over the lack of speed deterrence in covert operations while others will argue “if you’re not speeding, you have nothing to worry about”.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers says these “sneaky” devices do not reduce the road toll nor stop motorists from speeding.

“Getting a ticket in the mail up to a month after speeding when you can barely remember even where you were back then, has no effect and is quite rightly cynically viewed as revenue raising,” he said.

RACQ technical and safety policy spokesman Steve Spalding says they also prefer a visible police presence.

“Our members have repeatedly told us that over the years, they much prefer to see a police officer use a marked vehicle, not just for speeding, but for all of the other problem behaviours that we see on the road,” he says.

Is covert detection legal?

Police using covert TruCAM laser speed camera impossible
Police using TruCAM laser speed camera in an unmarked car with tinted windows

Well, yes and no. It depends on the state and how the speed detection equipment is deployed.

We asked police in every state for their policies on covert speed detection and most replied.

Victoria Police say mobile speed cameras are “not deployed in a concealed way”, but didn’t answer questions about handheld devices and cops hiding in bushes.

South Australia Police say they make “no apologies about using covert, camouflaged cameras to detect dangerous road behaviour”.

WA Police basically told us it was none of our business: “We use various tools to assist in our traffic enforcement capabilities.  We will not be providing details of specific tools or methodologies.”

NSW Police say they “use a range of enforcement strategies to assist in reducing road trauma”. But, like the WA cops, they say it’s none of our business.

“For operational reasons it would be inappropriate to discuss the guidelines surrounding these strategies. If riders and drivers observe the speed limits, then they have nothing to be concerned about,” they say.

Queensland Police are a little vague, telling us the Queensland Camera Detected Offence Program “utilises an evidence-based mixture of covert and marked camera operations”.

MUARC report

Police Covert speed camera
Somewhere in there is a cop with TruCAM!

Motorists, police unions and motoring groups are fighting a losing battle against covert speed detection.

Politicians and police typically cite a Monash University academic and an Auditor General’s report that back covert speed cameras as more effective at reducing general speeding than high-visibility cameras.

Monash University Accident Research Centre professor Max Cameron says high-visibility speed cameras are only good for reducing speed at a black spot.

Mobile speed cameras were originally introduced to reduce speed at black spots. NSW still has very prominently signed fixed and mobile speed cameras, Western Australia is now trialling more visible speed cameras and England is going all-out to make the cameras much more visible.

However, Queensland has removed the signs warning of mobile speed cameras and a report by Queensland’s auditor-general found they are not always deployed at the right time, in the right location, or in the “right mode” (not covert enough).

The report says only 16.3% of mobile deployment hours is covert because police want to avoid perceptions of revenue-raising.

It recommends that a high percentage of covert deployment would prompt a general deterrence to speeding.

Professor Cameron agrees: “… if you’re trying to affect speeding all the time then the best idea is to make sure the cameras aren’t predictable or apparent and to operate them covertly,” the professor says. “The idea of being conspicuous is really in the wrong direction.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Tips when pulled over for speeding

Motorists sometimes inadvertently convict themselves for speeding when they are pulled over by the police, says NSW traffic solicitor Chris Kalpage.

We have previously offered tips on what to do if pulled over by the police as well as tips from the police themselves!

Now, Chris has offered the following tips on what to do when pulled over specifically by NSW police for speeding, although the lessons are generally applicable around the world.

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled
Chris Kalpage on his Ducati

Recorded

If you are pulled over by a NSW highway patrol vehicle, the conversation is being recorded on both audio and video.

Even if it is not a highway patrol vehicle, the officer will make notes on your responses.

Often people are nervous and say things. It is sometimes safer not to make any admissions, especially if you do not have all the facts.

Even then, be wary of making admissions as they may seriously compromise your potential defence.

For example, where exactly do they say they observed you speeding and how did they assess your speed?

It can be the case that where you were alleged to be speeding is not where you have been pulled over by police. You may not have been speeding at the point they say you were.

In one case I defended, the in-car video clearly showed the bike passed the unmarked police car travelling in the opposite direction some 15km from where the rider was eventually pulled up. The rider obviously had no idea what the officer was talking about. 

Identity crisis

If a police officer comes knocking on your door accusing you of failing to stop, there are clearly issues about the potential identity of the rider, etc.

In another situation on the Wisemans Ferry, a Ducati 748R rider went past a police four-wheel-drive and they accused my client some days later.

We successfully defended the case over the accuracy of the police recording of the bike rego number and whether it was his bike at the scene.

You generally don’t know all the facts on the side of the road so why step on a potential landmine?

Assessing speed

LIDAR radar speed gun pulled
LIDAR radar speed gun

Generally there are four methods police use to assess speed, excluding fixed and mobile speed cameras. They are listed here in descending order of accuracy:

  1. The Lidar, which is a gun-like object which projects a laser beam and is aimed by the officer at an alleged specific target;
  2. The in-car radar which is a radar attached to the police car and uses a Doppler beam;
  3. Check speed which is a police officer following you and assessing your speed by using the car’s digital speedometer. It essentially shows their speed which may not be yours; and
  4. Police officer’s estimate, which has no objective measurement of speed.

Often the police will use one of the first three methods, combined with their estimate. 

Things to consider on the roadsideRider pulled over by police licence checks

If you have the presence of mind, ask the officer where specifically you are alleged to have been speeding and how they assessed your speed.

It is beneficial for you to take photographs of where the incident is meant to have taken place. If you have the capacity on your GPS or phone, record the exact longitude and latitude.

On country roads it may be difficult to pinpoint the exact location weeks later when you decide you want to challenge the allegation.

If the police officer was stationary when they alleged they observed you speeding, try to observe from that vantage point.

That will provide you with the officer’s visibility of your approaching vehicle and their maximum sighting distance.

Again, take photographs from that vantage point. Take notice of anything that may have obstructed the officer’s vision in tracking your vehicle.

Try to assess the distance you travelled from when the officer first observed you to when they started their test. This distance will depend on your alleged speed. Consider the following:

  1. What is the maximum sighting distance the officer had from where they were standing or where their vehicle was parked;
  2. From the maximum distance, how far had you travelled when the officer finished their test? Often we roughly work that out from when they step out on to the road or when they turn their lights on if facing you or if you get shown the reading on the Lidar; and
  3. If they are mobile, we use either when they turn their lights on as they are approaching or, at the worst, the “crossover point”. That is the point at which they go past you and are no longer getting a reading from your vehicle.

Disclaimer

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled
Chris Kalpage

This article is for your information and interest only. It is based on New South Wales law only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, and does not constitute and must not be relied on as legal advice. Please be aware that every case is different and the matters raised may not be of specific relevance to your situation but may have a general application. Seek specific advice tailored to your circumstances.

Chris can be contacted via email (mailto:kalpage@aol.comor phone 0418211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Higher speeding fines for the rich?

Is it time for Australia’s speeding fine system to be overhauled so the rich don’t get away with comparatively light fines while working Aussie motorists pay among the highest fines in the world?

According to British website GoCompare, Australians rank sixth in the world with the highest fines and 10th in relation to their average wage.

Ours is supposed to be an egalitarian and fair society, but how can it be fair for a motorist on a low wage to pay the same fine as a millionaire?

The average Aussie speeding fine for 21km/h over the limit is $401. South Australia leads with $771 fine, followed by NSW ($472), Queensland ($435), Western Australia ($400), Victoria ($332) and Tasmania ($163).

Top 10 fines for speeding 20km/h+

  1. Norway $1028
  2. Iceland $750
  3. Estonia $626
  4. United Kingdom $595
  5. Sweden $412
  6. Australia $401
  7. Switzerland $362
  8. Israel $282
  9. Netherlands $278
  10. Canada $275

Rich cop higher fines cops speed speeding radar fast speed camera licence rich

Several countries, such as Britain, Finland and Switzerland, have a system where speeding fines are linked to their wages.

The UK has just introduced a system where fines for excessive speeding have increased to 150% of their weekly income. It is capped at £1000 ($A1770), or £2500 ($A4435) if caught on a motorway.

After all, a rich pro footballer, celebrity or wealthy aristocrat would not be deterred by the average UK speeding fine of £188 ($A333).

Meanwhile, the UK has retained their minimum speeding fine of £100 ($A177) and motorists can chose to reduce that further by attending a speed awareness course.

Switzerland and Finland are much tougher on their rich speeders.

Finland uses a “day fine” system of half the offender’s daily disposable income with the percentage increasing according to their speed over the limit.

In 2002, former Nokia director Anssi Vanjoki copped a $A190,000 fine for riding his motorcycle 75km/h in a 50km/h zone.

But that’s not the world record speeding fine which was handed out in Switzerland in 2010 to a Swedish motorist caught driving at 290km/h.

He was fined 3600 Swiss francs per day for 300 days which worked out to almost $A1.5m.

Click here for our tips on riding in Europe.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

What! Cap motorcycle speed to 50km/h?

Cap motorcycle speeds at 50km/h is one of the more ludicrous suggestions put forward at the first of a series of community road safety forums in regional Victoria this week.

The suggestion from an unknown attendee was actually written up on a blackboard among other strategies, such as more driver/rider education and fewer varied speed limits.

Victorian Motorcycle Riders Association member John Nelson, who attended the forum in Ballarat says that despite the speed cap suggestion being noted, it was not treated seriously.

Speed cap

“I believe it was a member of the public who suggested the 50km/h cap,” he says. 

“There were a few old people on mobility scooters having a whinge.  It was probably one of them.

“Certainly no-one in government circles.

“I told Roads Minister Jaala Pulford about it and she laughed at that suggestion.  

“But some people have a poor idea of thinking on road safety issues and solutions.  When I saw it I said we will be slaughtered. 

“50kmh is idle in top gear on my bike.  Perhaps we should make a mockery of that suggestion, just to be sure.  

“Even a more totalitarian government would not adopt that.  I think I killed it right there on the night.” 

Road safety suggestions

However, the ridiculous speedcap suggestion gives an indication of the knee-jerk “solutions” surfacing in the wake of a spike in road deaths:

“As usual, driving infringements and enforcing the laws are always on the agenda,” John says.

The Ballarat community road safety forum is one of several to be held in regional Victoria where road deaths have spiked at 72 compared with 41 in metropolitan Melbourne.

John says there were a few other “surprise” road safety suggestions.

“The Western Police regional command were strong on returning riders being retrained,” he says.

“The same copper also conceded that the Towards Zero campaign has failed.  The TAC will replace it with another campaign later next year.

“Clearly it will never work.”  

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Watch: Speed is my Need documentary

“Life without danger is just no life at all” says a new motorcycle documentary featuring racers Freddie Spencer, Colin Edwards, Ron Haslam and Peter Hickman.

The documentary film title Speed is my Need is an interesting version of the computer game Need for Speed and the Tom Cruise line from the original Top Gun movie.

It looks at the psychology behind the incredible drive these racers have to win and the addictive nature of the high speeds they reach.

Director Mark Sloper has filmed motorcycle racing around the world for many years.

“I’ve always wondered what must go through their minds in near-perilous conditions,” he says.

“What makes the mind of a racer?

“I got in the best sports psychologists to help answer the question and the film gives the audience a fascinating insight into what makes these young gladiators race to within seconds of their lives.”Speed is my Need documentary

The film has been shown in UK theatres and is now heading to North American theatres. There is no word yet on an Australian cinema release.

However, you can rent or buy it from major US cable platforms, iTunes, GooglePlay, Vudu, Vimeo, Amazon, and Fandango for $US4.99 – $US9.99.

It is available in Australia through Amazon and can be purchased online here on VOD and DVD.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Speed enforcement causes herd mentality

Years of rigid speed enforcement have created a herd mentality that could be just as dangerous as having high-speed lunatics in our midst.

Over the past 20 years, traffic in our nation has been beaten into submission by the heavy handed use of speed cameras and police patrols.

The road safety rhetoric has changed from the dangers of hooning to the dangers of even being 1km/h over the limit.

The latest Queensland Transport road safety campaign is about driving “smarter” not faster.

It says that “half of all speeding crashes happen at just 1 to 10km/h over the limit”.

Of course most accidents happen at that speed, because most people now drive within 10km/h of the speed limit!

Herd mentalityHow to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering herd

With everyone driving within 10km/h of each other, it takes vehicles ages to pass slower traffic.

We also have a breed of arrogant motorists who think it is ok to hog the right lane because they are doing the maximum legal speed.

Consequently, our highways and major multi-lane roads have a constant herd of motorists travelling in all lanes at roughly the same, legal speed.

But has it created an even and orderly flow of traffic that delivers motorists safely to their destination?

No.

The road toll is still too high, traffic snarls are getting worse while road rage and motorist frustration levels are through the roof (if you have one!).

Riders at most danger

How to ride safely in heavy traffic lane filtering peeved commuters lip automatic brakes
Brisbane traffic

While motorcyclists can now avoid some of the snarls and frustration by legally lane filtering, they are also the most vulnerable vehicles in this deadly mix.

Hemmed in by motorists who won’t move over, motorcyclists are in danger of becoming invisible in the traffic.

Clearly the continuing road safety strategy of greater adherence to strict speed limits and frequently changing speed zones is not working.

These strategies only serve to force us to gaze at our speedos instead of the road which means drivers can easily miss a motorcyclist darting through the traffic.

Lane discipline

One effective safety strategy is more lane discipline on multi-lanes roads as practised in Europe.

Why don’t police patrol for drivers illegally hogging the right lane?

And why aren’t trucks (vans, caravans, etc) restricted to the “slow” lane as they do in Europe?

The answer: Because it is easier to deploy speed cameras which generate millions in revenue.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com