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Old 23-Dec-2009, 07:11 PM
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DSC Member Monty Monty is offline
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******* Goverment Again!

Motorcyclists at the head of a group of riders will face stiffer penalties for speeding under a crown court ruling.
Being the lead rider in a group is an aggravating factor making you partly responsible for speeding offences of those behind you according to the decision.
The ruling can be applied in any future cases where two or more motorcyclists riding together are accused of speeding. The head rider might be only a few mph over the limit but could be given the same penalty as the worst offender behind.
Road traffic solicitor Robert Dobson said: “Any crown court decision can be stated in future cases. This is potentially a very dangerous judgement for motorcyclists.
"Riders in a group change position frequently.
“If you are riding at the front any group at excess speed, then the very fact you’re at the front is an aggravating factor.”
Ken Clark, 49, reached 85mph on his Yamaha R1 while leading a group of three riders on the 60mph A272 near Rogate, Sussex, last June.
The speed is within the usual threshold for a fixed penalty of three points and a £60 fine.
But Chichester Crown Court ruled he should receive the same penalty as a following rider accused of going 103mph.
Barrister notes on the ruling given to Clark after the hearing state: ‘Although his was the lesser speed, [the bench] found it an aggravating feature that he was the lead motorcyclist, was setting the pace and he knew that the other two motorcyclists would want to catch him up and would be speeding to do so.

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Old 23-Dec-2009, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Monty
Road traffic solicitor Robert Dobson said: “"Riders in a group change position frequently“.

Well he clearly understands riding in groups.........
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Old 23-Dec-2009, 07:48 PM
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John, this was doing the rounds about a month ago.

When I arrange any rideouts I always put this at the bottom, don't know if it would be a defence or not but would seem to take away any "reasoning" they have used!

REMEMBER - During all rideouts every rider is expected to act responsibly and is deemed to be in control of their bike at all times.
There is no reason for individuals to ride outside of their ability. There is no need to play "Catch-up". Prior to any rideout all those involved should be made aware of the route and destination. A system for junctions etc. should be used to ensure riders are not left behind or feel pressured in any way to ride in a fashion that they are not comfortable with."

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Old 24-Dec-2009, 12:04 AM
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Hi guys,
you can imagine this has caused a fair bit of unrest in the various IAM and Rospa groups (I'm the chairman of an IAM group).

The IAM legal bods have put their heads together, and the upshot is if you are leading a group of riders and you yourself are breaking the law your penalty may be slightly more severe.
If however you as the run leader are not breaking the law you cannot be prosecuted for thier actions.

Dementor, the only real way to deal with this is to not only give that statement, but to give a pre-ride briefing to ensure everyone on the ride understands and accepts the terms of you leading the ride, or better still you as leader not breaking the law. The IAM suggest a pre-ride brief, and we use a checklist too, just to ensure all points are covered.

Sadly this ruling does mean that there is a chance people may now be prosecuted to a greater extent, regardless of a disclaimer.

The worrying thing is the way the guy in this case describes the circumstances, as they just don't seem to add up. Consequently a good number of people have picked the bones out of his 'story', and essentially undermined his case.
Its worth noting too that he hasn't appealed against the fact that he was speeding, just the extent of the penalty given. Had he taken the £60 and 3 points in the first place he'd have saved himself a great deal of time and money.
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