Action cameras incriminate riders

Not for the first time, evidence from an action camera, like that in the video above, has helped incriminate riders for the stupidity of recording their dangerous riding behaviour.

And that’s not all. Your bike’s data recorder, smartphone app or your GPS could also help incriminate you.

There have been several cases of Australian police quite rightfully confiscating SD cards from ubiquitous action cameras when they have reasonable belief there is evidence of criminal activity.

In January 2016, a 60-year-old British motorcyclist was sentenced to two years’ jail for dangerous driving based on evidence from his helmet camera SD card and now six British men have been banned from driving after two SD cards incriminated them.

Hertfordshire Constabulary has released the near six minutes of video from April 2014 to warn others of dangerous riding.

They had filmed each other doing wheelies, burnouts, riding at speeds of up to 235km/h (146mph) and other dangerous and illegal activities.

Police were even able to calculate the exact speeds of the riders based on the video frame rate.

The evidence to convict them in St Albans Crown Court was gained from two SD cards from two GoPro cameras attached to an R6, one facing forward showing the front wheel and one facing backwards.

When the riders became aware that police had been notified of their activity, the cameras were dumped in the Hatfield Tunnel. They were later recovered by police.Gopro helmet camera 2015

Even the dumping of the cameras is included in the incriminating video.

The riders have been banned for periods from 12 months up to three years.

The video didn’t just incriminate the riders. The 50-year-old driver of the silver Mercedes near the end of the video received a 12-month ban for speeding, dangerously passing several riders too closely and in the same lane.

All riders and the driver will face retesting before getting their licences back, pay £500 (about $A880) in prosecution costs and the driver faces an additional fine of £2700 ($A4750).

SD Card in a GoPro - incriminate
SD Card in a GoPro

It’s not just SD cameras that can incriminate riders. If police suspect criminal activity, they can also confiscate your GPS or its SD card, the data from your bike’s data recorder, if it has one, or your phone if you happen to have one of the new apps that records various metrics such as speed, GPS position, acceleration, lean angle and more.

Speeding or otherwise breaking the traffic rules could be deemed reason enough for police to believe your camera or other device may contain incriminating evidence.

If the police wanted to confiscate a device for evidence from a fellow innocent rider, they may need a court order.

If police do ask you to hand over an SD card or device, you should politely ask them to make a copy and return the original.

While some riders might be judiciously circumspect in collecting evidence of their riding behaviour, there will always be buffoons who not only capture it on video but even post it to Facebook and brag about it!


  1. Never hand over any evidence to police. This is your common law right. And is included in the Imperial Acts Application Act in every state. You are under NO obligation to hand over any evidence that can lead to your incrimination. Neither can anyone else be forced to hand over evidence that incriminates you. Since there are no victims of a crime, since these riders caused no harm, they should be let off with a warning.
    If you are going to do something that is human, do not carry a camera to record yourself. But most important, NEVER hand over any evidence that incriminates you and violates your rights. Make the tax collectors work for it.
    And yes, police recognise that real criminals and thugs have more rights than the puny citizens they tax without credible evidence. That’s why crims have guns and mere citizens do not have guns to defend themselves from gun toting crims, who may also be wearing blue uniforms.

  2. Snap and destroy your card if they wanna take say whoops I slipped when you pull it out. Cost of an sd to what you have potentially been doing up to you

  3. It’s not just the idiots who film themselves but others out there with dash cams recording other road user behaviour. In a recent edition of my local paper, in which the local Police have a regular column, it was reported that a rider who had been recorded doing something illegal, was immediately reported to the said local police with the dash cam footage as evidence. As I live in a popular riders destination the Police did a quick scout of all the local coffee shops and BINGO! The offender was presented with the evidence and ticket duly issued. This was within 40 min of the offence being committed!
    So, be careful out there.

  4. It was a high quality straight road on a good clear day so they did some stupid things and filmed themselves doing it the only real danger on the road was the cager who got booked.
    But they were all trying for a Darwin Award. The dumbest one was the guy who dropped the cameras, he should have put them in his pocket or under the seat dropping them was like painting his hand red and slapping a cop then trying to deny it.

  5. I feel safer knowing police are focusing on these hardened criminals rather than wasting their time on rapists and murderers …

  6. Would be handy to have an auto wipe button somewhere on one of these action cameras, just in case. Not that I would need it.

    1. It’s called format but it’s usually hidden in a thing called a menu
      Getting to that menu on some cameras especially touch screen ones is the real trick.
      But then there is software to recover formatted memory cards.

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