Tag Archives: speeding

Researcher explains roadworks speeds

Motorcyclist and road safety researcher Ross Blackman (pictured) has waded into our debate last week about whether roadworks speed limits are appropriate

Ross works with the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) at the Queensland University of Technology in the areas of both motorcycle safety and safety at roadworks.

Here is his take on roadworks speed limits:

Readers’ comments on the article offer a range of perspectives, some of which seem highly speculative. The article also makes a couple of potentially misleading points.

One of these is that roadwork speed limits in the US are only advisory. Although ‘work zone’ traffic management does vary across the many US jurisdictions, the country has produced comprehensive research and guidelines on work zone speed enforcement (see NCHRP Report 746) and has both regulatory and advisory limits. Highways in the US typically have many more lanes than Australian roads and the additional road space often allows more moderate speed limit reductions than required in Australia where roads are narrower. The US approach doesn’t achieve safe outcomes, with a current yearly average of around 600 fatal work zone traffic crashes according to NHTSA data.    

In the UK, the trialling and subsequent approval of 55 – 60mph (~100km/h) highway roadwork speed limits applies, according to Highways England, to situations ‘where they could be safely implemented’. These situations include specific scenarios and conditions, including implementing the higher limits for non-workdays and when no workers are present. They are not default limits for highway roadworks. While higher speed limits can be expected to produce greater compliance, this does not necessarily lead to greater safety. As noted in the TRL report on this issue, selection of roadwork speed limits ‘should be made on a case-by-case basis’. Calls for uniformity in roadwork speed limits are understandable. However, uniform limits would logically be set low to address the highest potential risk scenarios. This conflicts with other calls for flexibility, where different speed limits may be applied as appropriate to specific conditions.\


Resurfacing Roadworks midweek warriors regional

In Australia, highway roadwork speed limits are typically progressive, with initial warning signs (e.g. Roadwork Ahead/Reduce Speed) placed at least several hundred metres upstream of (before) a work area, followed by speed limit reductions down to 60km/h, and in some situations 40km/h. A 40km/h speed limit will only normally apply on high speed roads where there are no barriers in place and when workers may be operating close to the live traffic lane. Otherwise, the typical reduced speed limit on highways will be 60km/h. There would be very few, if any, situations where an immediate 100 to 40km/h speed reduction is applied without prior warning at roadworks. However, poor compliance with reduced speed limits on approach to work areas indicates that many motorists either fail to see or do not respond adequately to warnings and speed reduction requests. As noted in a 2017 Austroads Report, this is a source of downstream traffic conflicts and a major factor in rear-end crashes which are the most common roadwork crash types. Tailgaiting doesn’t help.   

The issue of roadwork speed limits at unattended and apparently inactive sites (and associated complacency among motorists) is one that has attracted considerable research attention and of which road authorities are acutely aware. From a safety perspective, there are several important issues here. One is that the task of installing and removing signage is in itself a high risk activity for traffic controllers – this is a situation where workers are known to have been killed or injured, such that in many cases it may be considered safer overall to leave signage in place. Reduced speed limits may also be left in place at inactive sites where conditions may be hazardous. The most obvious for motorcyclists may be loose or rough surfaces, but there are other potential hazards such as altered delineation, lane width and lack of line markings, for example. Speed reductions may also be left in place for some time after the completion of work to allow loose aggregate to be embedded in newly laid asphalt by passing traffic. While a roadwork site may not present any apparent hazards for some road users, numerous serious and fatal crashes do occur at inactive sites.

We all want better roads, for our safety as well as our enjoyment. Improvement and maintenance of this infrastructure unfortunately involves some disruption and inconvenience, for motorcyclists as well as other road users. I wonder if some of the people complaining about road conditions are also among those who complain about roadworks. Current arrangements and traffic control measures are far from perfect, but work is ongoing in Australia and elsewhere to improve the safety, efficiency, and management of roadwork operations. Driving or riding through roadworks sometimes causes delays, which can usually be anticipated and managed with a little preparation. Working on roads is a high-risk occupation and those involved have a right to return home safely at the end of the day, just as all road users do, including motorcyclists. 


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

TruCAM II: Rider’s friend or foe?

While some riders may not like the hi-tech TruCAM II radar gun’s ability to more accurately measure speed, the device could also be considered a friend of the motorcyclist.

Features which may appeal are its ability to target tailgaters, aggressive drivers, distracted driving and vehicles obstructing traffic.

Call to double driver phone penalties roundabouts distracted
Distracted drivers are one of our most hated motorists

So why aren’t they used more for these offences, rather than just speeding offences?

We asked police and transport departments in several states for statistics on offences from TruCAM II units and were either told the figures were not available or would take days/weeks to acquire.

We will update this article if they ever arrive.


Many police departments now have TruCAM II devices but some don’t divulge their technology.

Victoria Police said they do not use the devices which cost about $A36,000 (£20,000, $US25,000) per unit.

While the units could be a friend to riders, more often than not they seem to be their foe.

Some of their abilities specifically target riders including its “rear-plate mode” which measures the speed of an approaching motorcycle (or other vehicle with a missing or obscured front plate) and tracks it as it passes so that it captures the number plate.

The images are highly accurate to 150m and at speeds up to 320km/h.

Manufacturers Laser Technology Inc (LTI) say the device will detect any vehicle, capturing its make, model and registration plate.

LTI claim the cost of the device is justified by providing better proof of an offence so officers are not required to front court when a fine is challenged.

Other features include:

  • Differentiating speeding motorcycles and other vehicles in heavy traffic, including when lane filtering/splitting;lane filter filtering splitting traffic commute commuting congestion Brisbane
  • Automatically capturing images in a fixed distance, such as school and construction zones;
  • Auto focus, iris and shutter speed for clear number plate images up to 150m away;
  • Enforcing multiple speed limits on the same highway and distinguishing between commercial and private vehicles;
  • Allowing enforcement at night or within tunnels;
  • Capturing vehicles misusing bus, transit or car pool lanes;
  • Detecting vehicles obstructing traffic;
  • Measuring the speed, traveling time and distance between two vehicles for “Following Too Closely” or “tailgating” violations; and
  • Detecting drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts.

Since the system’s clarity can detect seat belt infringements it may also pick up riders who have not done up their helmet chin strap.

LTI say TruCAM II also has built-in detection algorithms to combat laser jammers. (Western Australia is the only state in Australia that allows radar detectors.)

LTI have sold more than 6000 photo/video lasers to more than 90 countries.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Double demerit points for long weekend

Double demerit points are in place in NSW and the ACT this Queen’s Birthday long weekend with NSW Police launching Operation Stay Alert from midnight tonight (5 June 2020).

NSW Police say they will have officers “out in force targeting speeding, drink and drug driving, driving while fatigued, mobile phone, helmet and other traffic offences” until midnight on Monday (8 June 2020).

On Wednesday, stationary Random Breath Test (RBT) and Roadside Drug Test (RDT) resumed following the easing of various pandemic restrictions affecting licensed premises and travel.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, says double demerit points will be in effect during the “high-visibility operation”.

Closed borders

NSW and Victoria have not closed their borders, so riders can enter NSW.

However, they may face some difficulty returning home.

Lions Rd borderLions Rd Qld/NSW border still closed

Some Queensland borders are closed such as on the Lions Rd. Others are open, but riders will need to get an entry pass so they can return. You can get a pass by clicking here. It only takes a minute.

South Australian riders should click here for details on their border closure measures.

Double demerits danger

Riders from Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia passing through NSW, ACT or WA during any declared holiday period do not cop the double demerits.

However, Queensland riders should note that double-demerit points are effectively in place all year round.

The law in Queensland is that double points do apply to speeding offences of 21km/h or greater over the speed limit and seatbelt offences if they occur more than once within a 12 month period.

If you incur the penalty in another state, it still applies as if it happened in Queensland.

Lawyer Stephen Hayles of Macrossan and Amiet Solicitors says he has been asked by clients about the system after copping a fine in an applicable state.

“For example if you commit two speeding offences of driving 21km/h over the speed limit in a 12 month period, you will be allocated four demerit points for the first offence and four demerit points for the second offence plus an additional four demerit points,” he says.

“This means that you will have accumulated 12 demerit points within a 12 month period and you risk having your licence suspended.”

How demerit points are recorded

NSW police blitz demerit

Double points apply in NSW and ACT over the Australia Day weekend, Easter, Anzac Day, Queen’s Birthday, Labour Day and Christmas/New Year.

In WA, the double points apply on Australia Day (unless it falls on a week day), Labour Day, Easter, Anzac Day (unless it falls on a week day), Western Australia Day, Queen’s Birthday, and Christmas/New Year.

If a rider in another state commits a traffic offence in a state during a double-demerit period, the offence is recorded as a double demerit offence on their traffic history in the state where the offence happened.

The state licensing authority will then report the offence to the transport department in your state who will record the offence on your traffic history.

However, the double points will only apply in Queensland under the circumstances described above.

Choice of penalty

Stephen says that if you have committed a traffic offence recently and you receive a Queensland Transport notice that you have accumulated your allowed demerits, you will have a choice of a good driving behaviour period or a licence suspension for a period.

“When considering whether to agree to a good behaviour driving behaviour period and a licence suspension, it is important that a licence holder understands that accepting a suspension of their licence may preclude them from making an Application for a Special Hardship Order or an Application for a Restricted (Work) Licence for the next five years,” he warns.

If you are unsure about how many demerit points you have, you can search your record online at your state’s transport department website or call them and request a copy of your traffic history.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Police target riders over crash deaths

Queensland Police will target motorcycle speeds after a spike in rider and pillion deaths in the first five months of the year, despite the reduction in traffic during the pandemic lockdown.

They have vowed to increase their presence and revert to their mobile speed camera program which had been temporarily suspended during the lockdown.

Inspector Peter Flanders says: “The bottom line is if you are on a motorcycle, you are that vehicle’s airbag. If you get hit or if you hit something it is you who takes the force.”

A total of 91 lives have been lost on Queensland roads in the first five months of 2020, up from 84 at the same time last year with 23 rider and pillion fatalities.

“Motorcyclists were highly represented in the figures, with one in four of all fatalities either motorcycle riders or passengers,” Police media says.

Stats by state

Police target riders over crash deathsAustralian statistics

It sounds like a lot, but it’s not unusual. The proportion of rider lives lost compared with total fatalities is much the same as previous years and is only three above the five-year average.

Meanwhile, the national trend shows rider deaths decreasing.

To the end of April, there were 186 deaths on motorcycles, which is actually the lowest it’s been over the past 10 years.Police target riders over crash deaths

Victoria has had 12 rider/pillion deaths to the end of May compared with 27 last year, down a whopping 56%, probably due to the lockdown.

Likewise, NSW has had 18 deaths so far compared with 24 last year and the 24 five-year average.

South Australia is also down from 11 last year to nine, although the five-year average is five.

Speed targetPolice target riders over crash deaths

In Queensland, police will target speeding as a response to the statistically anomalous spike in motorcycle road deaths.

Road Policing Command Superintendent David Johnson says motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injury than drivers and passengers in any other motor vehicle on our roads.

“Excess speed and loss of control are contributing factors in many traffic crashes involving motorcycles, so we really need riders to take responsibility and ride at speeds relative to the conditions and the posted speed limit,” he says.

However, we note several crashes so far this year involving unlicensed riders, stolen bikes, riders fleeing police, and riders hit by cars at intersections and on the wrong side fo the road.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Ban on GPS speed camera alerts

Germany is banning fixed speed camera alerts provided on most GPS units and many mobile phone apps in a worrying trend that could be replicated in other countries.

In most Australian states, fixed speed cameras are sign posted, but safety nannies are always looking for new ways to clamp down on speeding and could start pushing for this German ban.

However, this ban will not just catch habitual speedsters, but also affect those who inadvertently drift over the speed limit.

Safety alerts

And instead of motorists watching the traffic and relying on alerts to tell them of a fixed speed camera, it will lead to them monitoring their speedos and looking at the side off the road for cameras.

We are not sure how Germany expects to enforce their €75 (about $A125) fine as it would require police to pull over motorists to check their satnav devices and phone apps.

In some jurisdictions, that would require a search warrant.

Garmin and TomTom satnav companies have emailed their registered users to advise them of the law change in Germany.

autobahns autobahn

It seems strange in a country that has some roads with unlimited speeds and many autobahns with very high posted speeds.

However, if you have ever ridden in the country you will know that the speed limits are enforced and local motorists comply.

On one occasion, I saw an overhead electric sign suddenly flash a warning of a coming storm and reduced the 130km/h speed limit to 80km/h. Immediately the traffic around me slammed on the brakes and settled at 80km/h.

Germany uses a lot of fixed speed cameras in tunnels and around the entries and exits of villages and have already banned the use of speed camera and radar detection systems as in Australia (except Western Australia).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider’s bike impounded after chase

NSW Police have charged a male aged 40 and impounded his Kawasaki Ninja 250R after a high-speed chase in Sydney’s inner-east at the weekend.

On Saturday (3 May 2020), officers attached to Botany Bay Traffic and Highway Patrol saw the motorcycle on Joynton Avenue, Zetland, about 8.15am.

Checks revealed the motorbike was not displaying the correct number plates.

Police attempted to stop the Kawasaki but the rider rode off, leading police on a pursuit through Zetland and Rosebery, allegedly at speeds estimated at up to 120km/h in signposted 40km/h zones.

The pursuit was later terminated at Kensington due to safety concerns.

Bike impounded

About 1.30pm yesterday (Monday 4 May 2020), officers tracked down the motorcycle to a unit complex on Grandstand Parade, Zetland, and impounded it.

“A man approached officers and allegedly verbally threatened them,” police say.

“The 40-year-old man attempted to walk away when informed of his arrest and was restrained following a struggle with officers, where it is alleged, he kicked a constable.”

The man, Frederick Alan Doolan, was taken Mascot Police Station and charged with:

  • Police pursuit – not stop – drive recklessly;
  • Drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous;
  • Exceed speed more than 20km/h;
  • Two counts of use unregistered motor vehicle;
  • Two counts of motor vehicle display misleading number-plate;
  • Two counts of drive motor vehicle during disqualification period;
  • Motorbike rider (alone) not wear/secure fit approved helmet;
  • Assault police officer in execution of duty;
  • Intimidate police officer in execution of duty; and
  • Resist or hinder police officer in the execution of duty.

Doolan was refused bail and appeared today in Central Local Court where he was refused bail and the matter adjourned to Bathurst Court on 6 July 2020.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Pandemic leads to speed epidemic

Traffic offences are understandably down as there are fewer vehicles on the road, but the lockdown is also creating lonely roads where motorists are hitting some ridiculous speeds.

We have seen several reports of high-speed police pursuits around there world, but the highest speed was clocked by a Nebraska motorcyclist at 170mph (273km/h).

The rider tried to exit an interstate but lost control of his Honda motorcycle and slid down an embankment. The state trooper dragged him out of a pool of leaked fuel and slapped him with a fine for suspicion of wilful reckless driving and flight to avoid arrest, among other offences.

Aussie hi-jinks

Some riders in Australia are also taking advantage of the lonely roads, often with late-night and early morning high-speed runs. 

Two 20-something motorcyclists riding at speeds up to 200km/h have been charged following two separate pursuits with NSW Police in Sydney’s south west in recent days.

NSW Police say that during the lockdown there has been a 40% increase in high-range speeding offences over 30km/h and 45km/h compared with the same period last year.

Queensland Police gave us three examples of high-speed riders who recently copped high-range speeding offences costing $1245 and eight demerit points:

  • On April 1 around 4.14pm a 31-year-old man riding a Harley Davidson was allegedly detected travelling 194km/h in 100 zone on Logan Motorway at Larapinta;
  • On April 2 around 10am a 37-year-old man on a Yahmaha motorcycle was allegedly detected travelling 126km/h in a 60 zone on to Logan Motorway onramp at Drewvale; and
  • On April 6 around 10.30am a 61-year-old man on a Honda was detected travelling 102km/h in a 60 zone on Tamborine Oxenford Road at Wongawallen.

Test of restraint

restrictionsGoogle Maps shows how far Ipswich riders can go.

This weekend, Queensland will allow riders to travel 50km from their home for recreation.

It is among several relaxation measures that will be used as a test to see if the public can exercise some restraint and control.

Authorities say they will penalise flagrant abuses.

They may also penalise the rest of the community by tightening restrictions again if too many people flout the rules as we saw last week when Sydney opened beaches only to close them again after they became overcrowded.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says riding a motorcycle is exercise and therefore legal.

She says NSW Police have not booked anybody for riding a motorbike, “because that is akin to riding an exercise bike”.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Riders charged after two police pursuits

Two motorcyclists riding at speeds up to 200km/h have been charged following two separate pursuits with NSW Police in Sydney’s south west.

This is the type of stupid behaviour that brings all riders into disrepute.

It may also delay an easing of pandemic travel restrictions as Queensland plans to do from next Saturday.

Here is the NSW Police media release about these two pursuits:

Officers from Bankstown Traffic and Highway Patrol – with the assistance of South West Metropolitan Region Enforcement Squad (RES), the Dog Unit, and PolAir – conducted Operation Bluey on Friday (24 April 2020) and Saturday (25 April 2020), targeting high performance motorcycles engaged in dangerous riding practices and pursuits with police.

Pursuit 1

About 8.20pm on Friday (24 April 2020), officers were stopped on Rawson Road, Greenacre, when they saw a BMW s1000 RR travelling on Rawson Road before crossing to the incorrect side of the road and turning right into Waterloo Road, disobeying a red traffic light.

BMW S 1000 RR less flab deliveryBMW S 1000 RR

A pursuit was not initiated and despite patrols, the motorcycle could not be located.

A short time later, the motorcycle was seen travelling on Juno Parade before allegedly speeding away at no less than 100km/h before crossing to the incorrect side of the road and turning left into Nobel Avenue.

Further police allegedly sighted the motorcycle turn left into Mimosa Road and allegedly speed away at no less than 120km/h in a signposted 50km/h zone.

With the assistance of PolAir, the motorcycle was monitored as it travelled to a home on Wangee Road, where it was ridden through the front door and parked in the lounge room.

Shortly after, officers entered the home and the rider, a 24-year-old man, was arrested.

He was charged with motor vehicle exceed speed more than 45km/h – estimated, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, and vehicle number plate not correctly fixed.

The man is due to appear at Bankstown Local Court on Wednesday 29 July 2020.

Pursuit 2

2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R at Moto Expo2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000R at Moto ExpoGSX-R1000

About 11pm yesterday (25 April 2020), officers patrolling King Georges Road, Wiley Park, saw a Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycle, carrying a pillion passenger. The rear number plate was obscured.

With the assistance of PolAir, the motorcycle was monitored. Officers attempted to stop it nearby on Canterbury Road; however, it failed to stop and allegedly sped away at 160km/h in a signposted 60km/h zone.

A pursuit was initiated before being terminated shortly after due to safety concerns.

The motorcycle was again seen travelling on King Georges Road, riding only on its back wheel before allegedly speeding away at least 200km/h.

PolAir continued to monitor the motorcycle as it travelled to Greenacre, where the pillion passenger got off.

Shortly after, officers attended a nearby home and located the rider, who was the holder of a P1 licence and disqualified from driving until 2032.

The 23-year-old man was arrested and taken to Bankstown Police Station where he was charged with police pursuit – not stop – drive dangerously, drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, drive during disqualification period, and vehicle number plate obscured.

He was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court today (Sunday 26 April 2020).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Should COVID-19 fines link to income?

Should the COVID-19 related Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) or on-the-spot fines be linked to your income as speeding fines are in some countries?

After all, a motorcyclist on a $15,000 bike who goes for a leisure ride risks copping the same on-the-spot fine under the Health Act as a rich driver in an expensive supercar.

The issue surfaced today when NSW Police issued a $1000 PIN to the driver of a McLaren 650S worth about $440,000.

This is how Police Media reported the incident:

Just after midnight, officers from Kings Cross Police Area Command stopped a McLaren 650S travelling on Ward Avenue, Potts Point. The driver, a 43-year-old Fairfield man, told officers he was driving to Woolloomooloo to get petrol. After being warned, he informed officers driving is a form of exercise. The man and his 60-year-old passenger were each issued a $1000 PIN. The driver allegedly told police “do what you want mate, I don’t care. This $1000 fine won’t hurt with my $15 million.

Australia’s COVID-19 fines appear to be among the highest in the world, starting at $1000 in NSW.

In Italy, where more than 23,000 have died from coronavirus, the fine for disobeying a stay-at-home order is €200 (about $A340).

Consequently tens of thousands have copped fines.

That could be one of the reasons the spread is so rampant in Italy.

Linking these fines to income could be the answer.

Speeding fines linked to incomespeed camera radar speeding fines rich rich

Similarly, Australia’s speeding fines are among the highest 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 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, they argue that 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

High speed leads to dangerous charges

Riders who are fined for high-range speeding over 45km/h are often also charged with driving in a “manner dangerous”, says NSW traffic and criminal law specialist Chris Kalpage.

Our contributing lawyer says the extra charge is often based on the speed which may not be “objectively dangerous”.

Chris has previously addressed the issues of dangerous driving, negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm and a charge of negligent driving resulting from a crash. We suggest you read this in relation with this. See those articles at the end of this article under the heading “Stories You May Also Like”.

In this article Chris addresses the issues of charges of “Speed Dangerous” and “Manner Dangerous” arising out of a high-range speeding charge.

Dangerous charge

Often I will be approached by riders/drivers who have been charged with an over-45km/h speed and have also been given a court attendance notice for ‘drive manner/speed dangerous’.

The basis of the charge is as the title implies the manner and or speed involved in the driving, but sometimes it is purely based on the speed itself, which on careful assessment may not be objectively dangerous. Similarly the manner of driving on cross-examination may not be able to be sustained.

The test as to whether someone was driving in a manner dangerous focuses on the potential danger, rather than whether the actual danger was realised or not. For instance, high speed in a residential area may satisfy a high potential for danger compared with high speed on a freeway in the early hours of the morning.

Severe penalties

The problem in a charge like this is that the penalties can be quite severe on conviction, which can include a period of incarceration and/or a period of disqualification being an unlimited maximum, an automatic of three years, to a minimum of one year.

The other issue is that your licence and potentially plates can be taken on the spot which for some of my clients has resulted in them being stranded in the middle of nowhere.

These cases are serious and we will often start with an investigation of the in-car video (ICV) to view what the officers could see.

Often what they could see is quite different to what they believed they could see. For instance, hearing a bike or car with an aftermarket exhaust that seems loud and their belief accordingly that it was going fast.

Any witness in any criminal case can be influenced by their bias and make assumptions based on their particular bias in what they believe they saw. It is only when you see the ICV that you may get an idea as to what the officer actually saw and what is the filling in of gaps based on their bias.

Often the case involves careful cross-examination of each segment of the alleged offending behaviour to establish that the driving/riding does not constitute manner dangerous.

Police pursuitCops police speed speeding extended

I have had cases where a motorcycle is travelling above the speed limit and the police vehicle, some distance behind has seen the bike and then pursued it for a number of kilometres.

A particular case I did involved a bike traveling down from the mountains on the M4 with an unmarked police car traveling some distance behind.

Initially it was obvious from the ICV that the police officer was targeting another car but then when he saw the bike he decided to target that. The bike was traveling smoothly but at a speed in excess of the speed limit.

The police officer had to speed to around 180km/h to catch up. The bike was passing vehicles smoothly, but the police vehicle was flying up behind vehicles causing cars to dive everywhere.

The officer was of the view that it was my client’s riding that caused vehicles to dart in different directions which was questionable at best, as was the police officer’s estimate of speed.

Despite painstaking cross-examination of the police officer and reference to the video section by section, the court convicted my client. However, the magistrate took into account those issues that had been raised in cross examination and additional submissions made in sentence and gave him the minimum period of disqualification.

Had the Magistrate not observed the cross examination of the police officer and a plea of guilty had been entered based on the police facts as alleged the outcome would have been far worse. Accordingly in some instances there is a tactical basis for challenging the evidence to highlight the exaggeration by police.

Defending two chargesspeed camera radar speeding fines rich rich

Often a manner/speed dangerous charge based on excessive speed will include a charge of speed over 30 or over 45km/h.

We defend these charges with the intention of entering a guilty plea to the less-serious excessive-speed charge (if applicable) in an effort to get police to withdraw the dangerous driving primary charge.

In one case, a rider in a remote country location was pulled over by police using a Lidar. He was alleged to be riding more than 45km/h over the limit and riding in a dangerous manner. His licence was confiscated on the spot and he was charged by field court attendance notice, having him stranded in the middle of nowhere.

We subsequently mounted a defence and ran the case at Holbrook Local Court. Based on our argument that based on the location and time of day combined with traffic conditions it wasn’t dangerous. The prosecution agreed to withdraw the speed dangerous at hearing on a plea of guilty to the speeding offence which was the difference between a potential disqualification of six months as opposed to three years.

In many similar cases, a strong defence involving scientific evidence can achieve a similar compromise.

The court has to take into account all the circumstances of the case, including the nature, condition and use of the road, the amount of traffic, and any obstructions or hazards on the road. When all this is raised by the defence and taken into consideration by the prosecution it may make sustaining a charge of manner/speed dangerous untenable.


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 be contacted on 0418 211074.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com