Tag Archives: traffic offence

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

Riders claim Sydney parking fines unfair

Sydney riders are claiming $82 parking fines they received are unfair as the jurisdiction of the area changed from City of Sydney council (COS) to state government without clear public notice.

Previously the riders were able to park free in the Rocks, Pyrmont and Darling Harbour areas including outside designated bike-only zones as long as they adhered to the time restrictions.

However, the state reclaimed the land in January, according to the council, and installed private company parking meters at the end of August 2019.

The COS website was only changed on 17 September 2019 after several motorcyclists complained, according to Property NSW.

“Disputed infringements issued before the website was updated have been waived,” they say.

Fines unfair, say riders

Riders claim parking fines unfair
Jin and his yamaha custom

However, riders Jin Weng and Andrew Johnstone missed the change on the website and say the fines are unfair as there was not enough notice provided that the change had occurred.

Property NSW say “signage informing motorists and riders of the change of operation was placed on the meters from the time of the transition, which was managed in collaboration with City of Sydney, and notices were distributed to residents”.

However, Jin claims the road signs are “exactly the same” and the website was updated nine months after the change of jurisdiction.

“Motorcyclists cannot be expected to read the website everyday before parking a bike to ensure a road ownership hasn’t changed,” he says.

Andrew says he was unfairly slapped with an $82 fine along with about eight others in the bike-only zone in the Rocks. 

Riders claim parking fines unfair
Andrew and his scooter

The zone ends at 6pm and then it is four-hour meter parking. 

“I got done at 7.23pm. Previously under Sydney Council Laws there was no meter fee payable. Now this has changed,” Andrew says.

“I never saw anything on the signs for parking. Maybe the signs were on the meters themselves which naturally we would never look at.

“But the website just states part of the Rocks and the link does not link to an exact map and it says to check signs. Signs are no different to any other signs across the city.”

Jin received a parking fine Cumberland St outside a City of Sydney recreation centre because new parking meters were installed by a private company on a road at the doorstep of the COS  recreation centre.

“Other areas within Sydney not under the COS jurisdiction have clear indication at the location that it is managed by a different authority such as areas in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain.

“Sufficient notification should have been given when the changes occurred, the signs and parking meters at Cumberland St is exactly the same as anywhere else in the city of Sydney,” Jin says.

Loss of spaces

The loss of free motorcycle parking follows the reduction of CBD kerbside parking last year to accommodate bus, pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure.

It prompted a petition for more motorcycle parking space.

Sydney motorcycle parking petition Emma MacIver
Emma launches petition

Petition organiser and commuter rider Emma MacIver says the city is lagging behind Melbourne and the rest of the world and Motorcycle Council of NSW parking subcommittee claimed council’s lack of consultation with riders on the issue was “disappointing”.

Emma’s petition has gained almost 2000 signatures.

Click here to sign her petition and make council pay attention!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Rider slams Queensland Police hypocrisy

A rider who hit a car doing an illegal u-turn across double white lines is claiming police hypocrisy for inaction while fining him for allegedly clipping an unbroken white line in a separate incident.

Tristan Holland says the two different approaches by Queensland Police smack of hypocrisy.

Earlier this year, Tristan was fined for allegedly clipping an unbroken white line at the end of a painted traffic island on Centenary Motorway.

He claims he didn’t touch the white line and is challenging the matter in court on 16 October 2019.

Police are relying on blurry photographic evidence from a body cam taken about 90m from the scene.

Tristan Holland police hypocrisy
Police infringement notice photo

Police hypocrisy

Meanwhile, he says a driver who caused him to crash his motorcycle into their car after dangerously crossing a painted traffic island has not been fined by police.

“This morning I had a car do an illegal u-turn off a ‘turn left with care’ slip road right in front of me leaving me with nowhere to go,” says Tristan who was “battered and bruised”.

His 2016 Suzuki Hayabusa was damaged, but still rideable.

Tristan Holland police hypocrisy
Tristan’s Busa at the scene of the crash

He reported the crash to Police Link, but says it was deemed a “non-reportable traffic incident” because no one was taken away in an ambulance.

“That means the QPS will not investigate nor issue any infringement notice to the driver,” Tristan says.

U-turn rider slams police hypcrisy crash accident traffic offence
Red Busa dent on door

“There is no doubt the crash occurred because of the damage to the car’s door and my bike, plus the driver admitted fault to his insurance company.

“So why no infringement notice?U-turn rider slams police hypcrisy crash accident traffic offence

“I find it interesting that QPS will not investigate this, but will hound drivers/riders for allegedly crossing a solid white line based on questionable video footage from 90m away.

“So if you break the law, cause an accident, provided no one is injured, then you don’t loose any demerit points.

“But, if you break the law, hurt no one and police have video footage you are treated like a criminal.”

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Another win on incorrect helmet fine

Police continue to hand out incorrect  fines for helmet non-compliance and riders continue to challenge and win against the erroneous fines.

In this latest win, not only did the copper get it wrong, NSW Revenue “clearly did not bother reading the Road Rules either”, says Australian Motorcycle Council chairman Guy Stanford.

It follows a similar win for Queensland rider Ian Joice over an external sticker that had the word “Void” across it.

Void helmet Ian Joice
Ian with his “void” sticker

NSW helmet fine

The NSW rider, whose name has been suppressed, was issued a $337 fine on 10 June 2019 for wearing a helmet that did not have an external compliance sticker.

He contacted NSW Revenue which upheld the penalty saying:

There is no sticker on the helmet to show the helmet meets the minimum Australian standards. The helmet must contain a sticker from an approved body stating the helmet meets Australian standards and or has been tested and passed to meet the minimum Australian standards.

Yet the helmet is European and has the ECE22.05 certification sewn into the chain strap as required in the Australian Road Rules since November 2015.Helmet fine win

Guy says the “obvious and glaring injustice” was taken up by the *Motorcycle Council of NSW who made representations to NSW Treasurer Scott Farlow on the rider’s behalf.

Fine win

The Treasurer advised the rider that the matter had been passed back to police for review.

“NSW Police considered your submission and decided to cancel the penalty notice. The issuing officer apologises for any inconvenience,” the Treasurer said.

Guy praised the Treasurer: “It seems that at least one Minister is capable of comprehending. 

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

“We are pleased that the NSW Minister was able to resolve this matter.

“However, it seems unbelievable that both the NSW Police officer and Revenue NSW are not familiar with a Road Rule that has been in place for nearly five years.

“It would be easy to draw a conclusion that Infringement Notices are for generating revenue from the powerless.

“In this case, the rider was innocent of any wrongdoing, yet the review process failed to recognise this.” 

* The MCC of NSW is a member of the Australian Motorcycle Council and shares its expertise with other state and territory based rider organisations

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

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

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

Appeal call for rider-raging driver

An appeal could be launched against a Canberra motorist who received a “light penalty” for twice swerving dangerously at legally lane-filtering motorcyclists.

The driver, Jake Searle, 28, had been charged with two counts of driving with intent to menace.

He faced maximum penalties of more than $3000 in fines or 12 months in jail or both for each of these charges.

However, the charges were downgraded as he was a first offender.

Searle was released on a one-year good behaviour order and disqualified from driving for three months. He also avoided a fine.

Call for appeal

ACT Shadow Attorney General and Triumph Street Twin rider Jeremy Hansen is calling for an appeal.

“As a fellow rider I am very concerned by any incident that could potentially endanger the life of a motorcyclist,” he says.

“I understand the view that this sentence does not meet community expectations and will write to the ACT Director of Prosecutions to ask if they intend to appeal.”

Meanwhile, ACT Police say they are “waiting for a response from the relevant person/area” regarding an appeal.

We also contacted ACT Minister for Corrections and Justice Shane Rattenbury, Police Minister Mick Gentleman and Minister for Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay for comment on the sentence.

None has yet replied.

The Australian Motorcycle Council says it is “of concern when a driver uses their vehicle in a premeditated manner, as a weapon to harm others”.

“There appears to be little distinction between the quality of actions of this driver and those of the driver who killed pedestrians in Melbourne, although a difference in the scale or degree,” the AMC says.

Menacing videos

The incidents occurred on Majura Parkway on 30 October 2018. One incident is shown in this video which we published on November 2.

ACT Police were made aware of this video a day later and began investigating.

A second video later emerged showing the same driver swerving at another rider.

ACT Police made several calls for help to identify the two riders so a charge could be laid.

Police seek riders in lane filtering incidents call faces charges menacing
The rider in the second incident

At the time, ACT Police issued these details of the incident:

About 4:30pm, the riders were separately travelling northbound on Majura Parkway, Majura, when a green Ford Falcon swerved, almost colliding with the riders. At the time, the riders were lawfully lane filtering.

Legal filtering

Interestingly, these incidents occurred only a few weeks after the ACT made lane filtering legal.

Lane filtering was introduced in NSW five years ago and is now legal in all states and territories.

Not only is lane filtering legal but it also benefits all motorists as it helps move heavy traffic more quickly.

You can do your bit to educate drivers by sharing our “Open letter to drivers“.

Filtering rage

Drivers obstructing riders has been happening since lane filtering was introduced.

Check out this video from 2017 sent to us by Newcastle rider Harry Criticos.

“I was filtering legally when a driver stuck his whole body out in an attempt to block me,” the 2016 Triple Black R 1200 GS rider told us.

“I did not stop and he did make contact with the bike. I hope it hurt.”

This motorist was fined $325 and three demerit points.

Lane filtering is legal 

Surely it is time for some major advertising campaigns in each state to advise motorists that riders are allowed to filter and what benefits there are for ALL motorists.

That was the major finding of an online poll we conducted in 2016, yet there are still few major ad campaigns.

So far, lane filtering education campaigns have been minimal and mainly aimed at riders, not the general motoring public.

We not only need major ad campaigns, but also roadside signage such as this photoshopped sign.

lane filtering signs consensus duty defend filter call charge
Here’s a sign we’d like to see!

We are not aware of any polls about lane filtering in Australia.

However, in California where lane splitting (filtering at higher speeds than 30km/h) is legal, polls have found it is vastly unpopular among other road users. The main objection is that it’s unfair!

That breeds hostility which results in stupid behaviour such as in the above video.

Lane filtering lane splitting America danger bosch filter call charge
Lane splitting is unpopular in the USA

So long as lane filtering remains unpopular and/or erroneously believed to be illegal, motorists will do stupid and dangerous things to stop riders filtering.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com