Tag Archives: Tips on laws

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

Does Lane Splitting Make Motorcyclists Safer?

(Sponsored post on lane splitting for our North American readers)

Lane-splitting is the act of riding a motorcycle between the lanes of traffic on a freeway or city road. It’s a controversial topic in motorcycle safety, with a variety of opinions and different laws on whether it benefits motorcyclists or puts them in more danger. Many riders advocate for lane-splitting, out of fear that they’ll be sandwiched between two vehicles in a rear-end accident in stop-and-go traffic. They claim it’s safer to travel between lanes, and eases traffic during a busy commute. Those against it argue lane-splitting increases the likelihood of a crash if a driver isn’t paying attention, and doesn’t notice the rider along his or her side.

Motorcycle injury attorneys at Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. claim motorcyclists face a greater risk than any other vehicle on the road. If involved in an accident, riders are are also more likely to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. Lane-splitting has come up a lot in legislation about motorcycle safety, with a lot of gray area in different parts of the nation. So what is safer, splitting lanes or staying within the lines? A study at UC Berkeley suggests splitting reduces the likelihood a motorcyclist will be hurt in a crash, and the findings could change motorcycle laws across the country.

Lane-Splitting Increases Safety

The study, shared by the American Motorcycle Association, showed that riders who split lanes were significantly less likely to be struck from behind in a crash. Researchers reviewed nearly 6,000 motorcycle-involved collisions between 2012 and 2013. In 997 of those cases, the motorcyclist was splitting lanes at the time of the crash. Overall they found riders who split lanes were 6% less likely to suffer a head injury, 10% less likely to suffer an injury to the torso, and 1.8% less likely to die in a crash.

A few significant findings include:

  • Lane-splitting motorcyclists are less likely to be rear ended than those that don’t lane split, from 2.6% to 4.6%
  • Riders who lane split are 14% more likely to wear a full-face helmet and proper protective gear
  • Lane-splitting is safe if the rider travels at 50 miles per hour or less, and no more than 15 miles per hour above the flow of traffic

Authors of the study cite stop-and-go traffic as the main reason motorcyclists are in danger on the road. The American Motorcycle Association agrees, stating,”reducing a motorcyclist’s exposure to vehicles that are frequently accelerating and decelerating on congested roadways can be one way to reduce rear-end collisions for those most vulnerable in traffic.”Lane filtering lane splitting

Which States Allow Lane-Splitting?

Despite being a common practice on other continents like Australia, Europe and Asia, only California has legalized splitting for motorcyclists. California passed a bill known as AB-51 in 2017, ensuring that the practice is legal across the state.

After the bill was passed, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released data showing an almost 30% decline in fatal motorcycle accidents since lane-splitting was legalized. The data failed to highlight a specific trend across the United States, with numbers ranging from a 66.7% decrease in Washington D.C. to a 175% increase in fatal accidents in Rhode Island. However, the national average dropped by 8.6%, 30 states saw a general decline in fatal motorcycle accidents, and there were decreases of more than 20% in 14 states.

Other states are working on their own legislation, but no other states have fully legalized lane-splitting like California. Utah has passed some legislation in May 2019, legalizing lane splitting with specific modifications for lane-filtering”. Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, DC, and Maryland are currently considering new lane-splitting legislation as of October 2019. Many states don’t have any specific mention of lane-splitting within their legislation, meaning it’s not necessarily prohibited by law. This list includes Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina. All other states have laws in place to specifically prohibit lane-splitting for motorcycle riders.

As more information begins to come out about lane splitting safety, it will be interesting to see if more states choose to legalize the practice in hopes of keeping motorcyclists safer.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Legal defences to a speeding fine

If you have been fined for speeding based on a police officer’s estimate or “check speed”, there may be several defences, 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 which expanded on our article “tips on what to do if pulled over by the police” and even these tips from the police.

Chris Kalpage evidence pulled Legal defences to a speeding fine
Chris on his Ducati at the track

Now, Chris follows up with information a lawyer seeks when defending a rider on a speeding fine based on an estimate:

Collecting information

As I stated in my previous article, photographs of where the incident occurred are a great help as it provides information about what may have obstructed the proper tracking of the vehicle.

Distances will also enable the calculation as to the distance over time and therefore the potential speed.

We usually attend the police station to see the police in-car video (ICV). That video will show in many cases what the officer could see and what you may have said when pulled over.

In a hearing, the officer may produce a transcript of what you said which is another reason to be wary of saying anything.

If it is an in-car radar breach, it provides us invaluable information of what speeds were registering, the time between observation of the vehicle and locking the speed, and any other matters that could potentially affect the Doppler beam or the reading on the radar, in addition to the patrol speed of the police vehicle. 

Check speed

A “check speed” fine is based on the speed the police vehicle was travelling.

In this case, examining the ICV will show whether the officer had the ability to maintain a consistent distance and speed to provide an accurate reading.

In many of these cases I have observed the highway patrol (HWP) vehicle being baulked by slower vehicles that the smaller, lighter and more nimble motorcycle has been able to get around unaware they are being followed.

When the HWP vehicle gets around the obstruction, seconds have gone past and the police have to accelerate hard to catch up.

In the heat of catching up, it has, on occasion, been that the speed alleged is the speed of the HWP vehicle and not that of the bike.

Similarly, if the HWP vehicle is parked on the side of the road and the officer has to accelerate in pursuit, there is often a degree of hard acceleration involved.

The ICV may also show whether the officer was able to view the bike consistently during the test or lost sight of the vehicle, which would put the check speed or estimate in question.

Example case

lLegal defences to a speeding fine
A rider on the Old Pac (Image: YouTube)

I ran a case on the Old Pacific Highway where the officer passes the bike and the radar showed the bike was travelling at the speed limit of 80km/h, as shown in the ICV.

The bike pulls into Pie in the Sky cafe and a number of minutes later the HWP vehicle pulls in. The officer gets out and starts yelling at the rider and charges him with speed over 45.

When I examined the ICV it showed the bike had travelled past the HWP vehicle at 80km/h but more importantly the police vehicle had done a u-turn and did not see the offending motorcycle until it was pulling up.

So how was an estimate or check speed of more than 45km/h made in the absence of seeing the vehicle?

More importantly, why had the HWP been unable to catch up to the bike, which was the other issue, relied on by police seeing the PV had been hitting speeds of 140-150km/h.

On closer examination of the video it was seen that the HWP vehicle was held up when doing its u-turn by several cars pulling out of Brooklyn, including a learner driver who held up the police by a considerable amount of time.

As many riders are aware, if you give someone a 15-second rolling start at the track, it takes a long time and a lot of speed to catch up. We obtained scientific calculations relating to this, which established that the bike could not have been travelling at the speed alleged. Our client was successful at the hearing.

Chris Kalpage defences
Chris Kalpage sets up for a track session

Officer’s estimate

A police officer’s estimate is the least reliable assessment of speed.

Observing the ICV may give us information as to time and distance that the officer had to make their assessment.

I ran a case where two bikes crested a hill on the Putty Rd at the same time as a police vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. The officer saw the bikes and locked on to their speed within a second.

They did not allow for three seconds of observation and testing with the radar, nor did they allow for multiple vehicles in the beam.

When that was challenged, the officer relied on his estimate which was dubious because of the short observation time as the bikes went past.

At the hearing, the officer conceded a lesser speed and our client retained his licence.

The longer the observation, the greater the accuracy of the estimate.

If an officer is coming around the corner as you are tipping in going in the opposite direction we have to challenge the speed estimate over the length of observation time.

Often it is based on a momentary snapshot and preconceived ideas based on the rider’s posture on the bike, noise, etc, not hard facts. Therefore, it is subject to challenge.

Technology

Potentially more accurate forms of speed assessment such as lidar and radar needs more careful analysis which will be covered in a future article.

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

Victory in void helmet sticker fine

Police have waived a Bribie Island rider’s $400/3point infringement for having a void helmet sticker in a test case that proves riders can legally remove the external sticker.

Ian Joice, 63, says he was pulled over by police on Bowen Rd, Glass House Mountains, on 12 August 2019 at 11.38am.

He says the officer noted the external sticker had the word VOID across it from age and sun damage while the internal label was faded due to wear.

Helmet fine void sticker
Internal label

A week later he received an infringement notice in the post for “fail to wear helmet”.

So he contacted Motorbike Writer after reading our article which advised riders that is legal to remove the external sticker.

Click there to read our full article.

We contacted Queensland Police to ask why an erroneous fine was issued and how many other similar fines had been issued.

They replied:

The infringement in this matter will be withdrawn. This is an isolated incident and the officer has been given guidance regarding the matter.

Ian was greatly relieved when we passed on the news of his fine waiver.

“I have been very distressed with this situation and am greatly relieved that the notice has been withdrawn,” he says.

“I have had some black days since the notice arrived.”

Australian Motorcycle Council helmet law expert Guy Stanford says he believes police are not aware of the rules and standards that apply to helmets.

Guy Stanford - Mobile phone while riding - darrk visor helmets tinted visor youtube withdrawn void
Guy Stanford

“This is a good result from a commonsense complaint,” he says. 

“The facts were clear, the rider had been issued a fine for an offence he did not commit.

“This sort of fraud reflects badly on all police.”

Void sticker

Guy says the external sticker on a motorcycle helmet is only an indication of compliance and not a legal requirement.

In fact, the Australian Road Rules and standards do not even mention an external sticker.

They only say the helmet has to be “permanently and legibly marked”.

“So long as the mark of certification appears somewhere on the helmet that’s all you need, which means the label inside,” Guy says.

AS/NZS 1698 external stickers show VOID due to fading in the sun or if they have been removed.Helmet fine void sticker

“This is only a manufacturer’s device to recommend to riders when they should update their helmet,” Guy says.

“It has nothing to do with any legal requirement and is not mentioned in the Australian Road Rules. There is no expiry date on motorcycle helmets.”

Ian says he didn’t realise his helmet was so old and has now spent the $400 he would have spent on paying the fine to buy a new helmet.

  • We suggest you keep a copy of this article and/or our previous article to show police if you are ever threatened with a similar erroneous fine.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Do police traffic offence quotas exist?

The issue of police being directed to meet traffic offence targets or quotas are back in the news in Queensland and South Australia.

The matter generally raises the ire of motorists who say it is proof that police are revenue raisers rather than performing road safety duties.

Critics also say it leads to motorists being fined for minor speeds and diverts police patrols from catching high-range speeders.

Controversial quotas

The quota controversy has been raised after two recent events:

  • In Queensland, emails that set quotas for traffic tickets have been revealed in court by a Gold Coast cop in evidence of bullying by senior officers. Queensland police have always denied the existence of quotas but have again admitted there are “benchmark” expectations or “targets” for officers on various offences.
  • In South Australia, a senior police officer sent an email to staff offering a gift card as an incentive to issue more speeding and traffic fines. SA Police were forced to retract the email and advise that the incentive went against official policy.

Motorists may not be convinced, especially after examples of what they consider blatant revenue-raising such as our recent article about the use of covert TruCAMs on a downhill stretch of Mt Glorious Rd to nab as many speeding riders as possible.

Quota history

Offence quotas (or “benchmarks”, or “targets”) for police are not new.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, the Queensland Bjelke-Petersen government blatantly referred to them as “kill sheets” for traffic and criminal offences.

Officers were required to reach certain targets to gain promotion or face punitive measures such as a long run of “graveyard shifts”.

Rather than promoting road safety and a crackdown on crime, it led to massive police corruption, culminating in the Fitzgerald Inquiry and subsequent jailing of senior cops and politicians.

Quotas exist in various countries at varying levels of legality around the world.

For example, the UK Government ran a two-year pilot project with the Thames Valley force allowing police to claim back a proportion of speeding fines to pay for road safety projects.

Quotas are largely outlawed in democratic countries as unconstitutional.

Yet the practice often continues in a non-official capacity to evaluate the productivity of “slack and lazy officers”, as one former senior cop told us.

  • Are “targets, benchmarks, incentives, kill sheets, or productivity evaluations” just quotas by another name? Leave your comments below.

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

Riders charged over third-party GoPro evidence

NSW Police are charging riders with traffic offences based on GoPro video evidence obtained from other riders, says Sydney lawyer and Ducati 1098S rider Chris Kalpage.

There have been many incidents of riders being charged after self-incriminating evidence was found on their GoPro footage, mobile phone data, GPS and even bike data loggers.

However, Chris says he knows of at least two occasions where NSW Highway Patrol have sifted through the GoPro video of riders to find offences by other riders they may have been following.

He says these riders have been fined for speeding, crossing unbroken and double lines, wheelies, etc.

GoPro evidenceShoei helmet with a GoPro action camera mounted

“I have had matters where a person may spend the day riding with their GoPro videoing their heroics coming up behind other riders who unknowingly may be transgressing,” says Chris, 61, who has been riding since he was 15.

“The rider with the GoPro is spotted at the end of the day by police and pulled over for some transgression that the officer has seen and confiscate their GoPro.

“Subsequently they play the video back at the station and then pay visits to anybody they see on the video.

“The police will then attend the premises of the registered owners of the bikes that they have seen on the videos and place a notice of demand asking that they identify who the rider was at the relevant time.”

Police rights

Chris says police may be within their legal rights to confiscate your GoPro or any other device if “certain prerequisites exist”.

In some places, such as America, police may first have to obtain a search warrant. In Australia, they don’t, so long as the search is lawful.

If police conduct a lawful search, they can seize your camera, SD card, phone, GPS or bike data.

A lawful search is where you give police permission to search you or when the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that you could have an item containing evidence of an offence.

A crash is a situation where police might exercise their right to collect relevant evidence from victims, offenders and bystanders.

Riders’ rights

GoPro Chris Kalpage evidence
Chris on his Ducati

Chris says NSW Police are going to the home of the registered owners of bikes they have seen on video and formally demanding they identify the rider at the relevant time.

Of course, he advises riders approached by police to identify themselves to first contact their lawyer.

“They often wont show you the video and you will have to take it on faith that you were the relevant bike that was seen on someone’s GoPro footage,” he says.

“In the absence of your election the police have no evidence as to who the rider may have been.”

Chris says it could be difficult for police to substantiate a speeding offence based on the video of a following rider.

“It may be that the speedo of the GoPro rider’s bike can be seen but then it would amount to whether the rider is speeding to catch up with the bike in front or is keeping a consistent distance, and visual over a reasonable period of time,” he says.

“Similarly how do we know whether the GoPro rider’s speedo is accurate? After all, many of us change the sprockets of our bikes which can affect the speedo accuracy.”

He advises that there are many factors in video GoPro evidence that may be challenged, including the legality of the seizure of the evidence.

Click here for our advice to riders about confiscation of a device which may have incriminating evidence.

If you have any questions about this topic or other traffic-related matter, you can ask Chris by leaving your question in the comments section below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Double demerit points endanger licence

Riders are warned they could have their licence suspended in one hit under double demerit points which apply this weekend in NSW for the Queen’s Birthday (June 8-10, 2019).

It follows a hefty 14 demerit points and $1200 fine handed out to a Harley-Davidson rider over the Western Australia Day long weekend (June 1-3, 2019).

Traffic Enforcement Group officers tweeted the above photo of the fine after nabbing the rider at more than 120km/h in an 80km/h zone in Ravenswood.

Police noted on the fine that the rider told them: “She (his bike) was flooding and gurgling; just gave it a blat”.

His licence will be suspended for three months.

Double points danger

Double demerits apply in certain holidays in NSW, the ACT and WA.

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

Police cops speed speeding sensation annual demerit

However, Queensland riders should note that in certain circumstances they do apply.

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.

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 (from December 21 2018).

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

No safety in numbers for speeding riders

Riders who believe there is safety in numbers may be in for a shock when the whole group is pulled over by police and fined for speeding.

The issue was brought to our attention when three of a group of four Brisbane riders were recently pulled over and fined for speeding.

One of the riders decided to challenge the fine because he believed he was not doing the same speed as the others.

His lawyer advised hima group of motorcyclist travelling together can be reasonably considered as all travelling at the same speed, therefore the police only need to confirm one was speeding to be able to apply the same ticket to the rest of the group”.

The rider’s challenge was unsuccessful in Magistrates Court this week.

Queensland Police officer Senior Constable John Wilkins used an in-car radar to record the speed of three of the riders as they approached in the opposite direction to which he was travelling. He missed the fourth rider.No safety in numbers for speeding riders

To back up his observations of each rider’s speed, he used a bodycam to record the vision of the riders and a partial view of their speed on the dashboard-mounted radar unit.

Proving the speeds of several riders in a group seems impossible, yet the Magistrate in this case accepted the police evidence.

The defendant, who has already spent $5500 on the matter, plans to take it further.

No safety in numbersDangers of organised group rides numbers

Many riders may have similar stories of numbers of riders copping the same speeding fine while others may have examples of only one rider being pulled out of a group for speeding.

Both scenarios seem unfair and unjust.

Except for fixed speed cameras, which can pick up individual number plates to issue fines, there does not appear to be any mobile equipment that can do the same.

In this case, the officer backs up his evidence with bodycam video.

We asked police in each state about their operations and policy.

Only Victoria, Queensland and South Australia replied, while the others refused to comment on operational procedures or “hypothetical situations”.

Victorian Police say that “under the right circumstances it is possible for police to intercept and issue speeding infringements to a large group of motorcyclists”.

However, they won’t say what those “right circumstances” are.

It seems police are simply willing to fine group riders and accept the chance that it may be challenged in court.

Police repliesDayGlo Queensland Police helmet camera fined witnesses robbed

Here are the replies from Queensland and SAPOL:

Queensland Police utilise multiple types of speed detection devices that are capable of accurately detecting motorists exceeding the speed limit.  Police remind all road users to drive safely and not exceed the speed limit. A handheld laser speed detection device will enable accurate targeting of an individual vehicle travelling in a group of vehicles. A mobile radar will not allow the individual targeting of a vehicle travelling in a group of vehicles, however it does have a feature that will allow the device to display both the strongest signal returned and the fastest vehicle detected. With regards to both types of devices, it is incumbent upon the operator to make visual observations as part of a valid tracking history to confirm the speed detected is accurate. The observations of the officer are vital in supporting any prosecution.

SAPOL uses both hand-held laser and vehicle mounted radar devices to detect speeds, along with officers observations of vehicles. A laser device could be used to detect speed of a motor cycle rider in a group.  The detection could be used to prove that other persons in the group were exceeding the speed limit, if they were observed by police as travelling parallel to each other.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Can I transfer a number plate to a motorbike?

(Contributed post for our UK readers)

Whether you want to transfer your private number plate from car to car, motorbike to another motorbike or in-between the two, all of these options are possible and the same rules apply for each.

As long as the vehicle is subject to an annual test there are no restrictions to transferring your number plate from one vehicle to another, whether it be a car, bike, van or anything in-between.

There are however, exceptions to this rule. Vehicles that do not take part in an MOT are not able to be part of the DVLA Cherished Transfer Scheme, meaning that their number plates cannot be transferred. Examples of these vehicles are tractors, milk floats and other specialist vehicles.

Transfer fee

The usual price to transfer a private number plate is £80, however the DVLA will charge you differently depending on whether your transfer is on a certificate or from one vehicle to another.

How to transfer a private number plate to a motorbike

If the number plate that you want to transfer is already on a vehicle then you will have to complete a V317 form and submit it to the DVLA, along with documents for both vehicles that are involved in the transfer. You will also have to ensure that both vehicles are taxed and have a valid MOT so that the vehicles can be moved to be inspected by the DVLA if necessary. Along with this, you will have to make sure you pay the correct fees in order for the transfer to take place.

If the private number plate is not already on a vehicle and instead on a V778 Retention Document or V750 Certificate of Entitlement, you can then transfer the plate directly to your vehicle. When checking the certificate, if it is not in your name or you are not a named ‘nominee’ then you will have to change the nominee name, which is free of charge. You can check the costs and instructions for the transfer process on both certificates.

How to transfer a private number plate from a motorbike

If you’re wanting to transfer a private number plate from a motorbike to another vehicle then the same rules apply. You will have to process your application through the DVLA to remove the registration from your motorbike and onto a different vehicle. But, if you don’t have another vehicle to transfer the plate over to, whether that be because you’re saving it for a new vehicle or wanting to sell the plate at a later date then this is also possible. You will have to put your number plate on retention using a V778 Retention Document which lasts up to 10 years and can be renewed at no extra cost if you continue to keep your plate on retention.

If you want to sell the plate on the same rules apply. You can do so through auction sites, the DVLA or private selling sites such as NewReg.co.uk. Both parties will have to have the relevant documents available to send off to the DVLA in order to meet the legal requirements for the transfer.

How long does the transfer take?

The process of a number plate transfer can take anything between 2-5 weeks from when you submit the documents to the DVLA. In order to ensure that there are no delays or set-backs to the process, read through everything carefully to make sure that there are no mistakes in your application. Once the application has been approved and the plate transfer has taken place, you are free to enjoy your new private number plate.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com