Six motorcyclists banned from
roads for dangerous riding
Road Safety Support provided expert support in the case of six motorcyclists who today received driving bans totalling more than 10 years for riding dangerously on a motorway.
St Albans Crown Court heard that they took part in an “outrageous” level of dangerous riding on the A1(M) motorway in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire on Sunday April 13, 2014. After receiving calls from members of the public, officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (RPU) stopped the group, but also discovered that one of the bikers had discarded two digital video recorders in the Hatfield tunnel.
Officers seized the devices and on viewing the footage, saw that the cameras had been attached to the front and rear of one of the bikes. The cameras recorded numerous dangerous manoeuvres including wheelies and overtaking and undertaking at high speed. Some of the more dangerous wheelies were performed at high speed while the rider was standing on the seat of the motorcycle.
As members of Road Safety Support, the forces sought the help of our team of experts who analysed the footage to provide submittable evidence for a prosecution. As part of our work we established the identification of the vehicles involved, the speeds they were travelling at and the traffic offences committed. The highest speed recorded in the footage was more than 140mph.
Today the motorcyclists were disqualified from driving and ordered to pay £500 costs after pleading guilty to dangerous driving offences at earlier hearings:
Matthew Langley, aged 37, of Marston Mortaine, Bedford, was disqualified for three years;
Malik Blackburn, aged 31, and of Corfe Road, Bedford, was disqualified for two years;
Axel Jones, aged 25, of Bedford Road, Turvey, was disqualified for 18 months;
Matthew James, aged 29, of Princess Street, Bedford, was disqualified for 18 months;
Jonathan Wartnaby, aged 32, and of Springfield Avenue, Kempston, was disqualified for 18 months;
Kevin Saunders, aged 29, of Withnell Road, Blackpool, was disqualified for 12 months.
On Tuesday (July 19), motorist Alistair Turner was also found guilty of dangerous driving in relation to the same incident. The 50-year-old, of Raleigh Crescent, Stevenage, had been driving on the A1(M) and was provoked by the bikers’ behaviour. Driving a silver Mercedes, he performed several dangerous overtakes and undertakes in the hard shoulder possibly to intimidate the bikers. He also was identified from the footage and he was also disqualified for 12 months today and ordered to pay costs of £2,700.
Police have released clips from the video footage taken by the bikers, showing many of the dangerous manoeuvres. They can be viewed here https://youtu.be/OFB05gZ5JQM
PC Damian Bevan, from the RPU, said: “The defendants acted with a group mentality, presumably trying to impress each other with their outrageous and extremely dangerous antics. Not only did they show flagrant disregard for the rules of the road, but they put themselves and others in unnecessary danger. They are fortunate that they did not cause a serious accident.
“They probably thought they would get away with it, however on finding their own footage we were able to use it to build a case against them with the expert support of Road Safety Support.
“Our roads are not a playground for those who want to participate in extreme motorsports; they can be dangerous places even at the best of times and require all motorists to act responsibly and with sufficient care to make sure they are as safe as possible for all road users.”