Busted for multiple traffic offences

Yamaha MT-03 masters of torque multiple

Have you ever been busted for the same traffic offence multiple times in the one ride?

While it is a “dog act”, it is entirely legal.

One rider recently told us about copping multiple tickets for the same offence from a police officer who followed his bike for several kilometres in an unmarked police car.

The offence was crossing over unbroken white lines to overtake slow traffic.

The rider says the overtaking manoeuvres were safe, on straight roads and with plenty of vision for any oncoming traffic.

He was totally unaware that the car travelling behind him was driven by a police officer.

The incident occurred on the Stanley River Rd, near Maleny in South East Queensland.

White line fever

Like many country roads, it has few areas with unbroken lines, even though there are several places where it is quite safe for vehicles, especially motorcycles, to overtake. And it would also be legal for vehicles to cross the lines if they were overtaking a bicycle.

Read about the proliferation of solid white lines.

Sunshine Coast TT challenges multiple
Stanley River Rd

While the rider does not dispute crossing the white lines, he is annoyed that he almost lost his licence because of the batch of tickets he was given, rather than being pulled up for the first offence.

It seems the police were undertaking an operation designed to nab riders for this particular offence. 

The rider was pulled over by a waiting motorcycle cop at the top of the hill, rather than by the following officer.

The officer in the patrol car had recorded the offences on a video camera and radioed ahead to the waiting motorcycle cop.

When the following officer eventually arrived, he told the rider words to the effect that “don’t bother denying the offences; I have it all down on video”.

We asked a legal eagle for their advice on the police operation.

“It’s a dog act,” our legal expert says.

“But I reckon it is legal. Each offence is a separate event. And the copper has no duty to bust you for the first to prevent you from committing subsequent offences. 

“Another triumph for the coppers’ PR department.”

Double jeopardy

In case you were wondering, the defence of double jeopardy also does not apply.

Double jeopardy is actually where you cannot be tried for the same offence again once acquitted or convicted of that offence.

In this case, multiple offences – albeit the same type – have occurred.

It could be argued that if a rider continually speeds along a length of road and is recorded by two different officers or separate speed cameras, that it is the one offence, not two.

Sorry, but that argument has also been discounted in court, even though it is entirely unfair when there are multiple speed cameras set up in close proximity.

  • This article is just one opinion. For legal advice, consult your lawyer.

22 Comments

  1. I see a couple of problems. First of all knowingly breaking the law in an area known for police presence due to its popularity with motorbike riders. Give yourself an uppercut for that one.

    Not contesting it was the second mistake. In court you get a chance to question the police and for me it would be a simple question of asking why were multiple offenses allowed? If the act was so dangerous to the public at large, why was the behavior allowed to continue unabated and unchecked? If they thought there was public danger with your driving it is their duty to stop that behavior before someone comes to harm. So it was either not dangerous because they allowed it to go unchecked initially or it was dangerous and they were complicit in the behavior following the first offense by allowing it to continue. That would allow a magistrate the room to consolidate it to one offense for you.

  2. Sorry lets get this right – rider purposely crossed unbroken line (illegal) multiple times – thus breaks law multiple times then wanrs to complain about fines. And reason ‘to overtake slow moving traffic’ what traffic doing 60 in a 100k zone for no apparent reason or traffic doing 98 in a 100 zone and rider deemed that too slow?
    Rider sounds like a hoon to me.

  3. If you don’t like getting booked then don’t breach the road rules otherwise take it on the cheek and don’t whine about being caught.

    1. I used to think like that, until the day I was booked for something I most definitely didn’t do
      & that was good, because it made me a lot less selfish, one-eyed & arrogant
      & it reminded me of what the good Lord said:
      “Take the block of wood out of your own eye before complaining about the speck of dust in your brother’s” .

  4. So if I ride along for 5ks at 130k constant speed I get booked for 1 offence
    & don’t lose my licence

    & if I ride for 1k at 130ks, slow down to 100, then up to 130ks for a total of 5ks
    I lose my licence – because I slowed down.

    It’s got nothing to do with safety.
    Don’t slow down.

  5. I’d be interested to know how often the police stop and issue tickets to car drivers that cross unbroken lines. Specifically those that cross unbroken lines on bends. A significant danger to motorcyclists are those drivers that cut corners and in doing so cross the unbroken line. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had a driver coming at them on their side of the road because the car driver decided to cut the corner. I wonder how many motorcyclists come to grief because they are avoiding an oncoming driver who continues on their way oblivious to the near or actual accident they caused. I had close call last week when a driver came around a bend on my side of the road – in fact that and couple of other inattentive drivers recently mean I am now looking to get a camera.

    1. interesting too that with the 1 metre distance law for cyclists it is legal to overtake on unbroken lines ‘when safe’. If you are on a motorcycle wishing to overtake a moving roadblock however too bad.I have also noticed with the cars overtaking cyclists on unbroken lines the ‘when safe’ part of it seems to go out the window when a motorcycle is coming the other way

  6. Legally the cops might be able to do this, but let’s be fair dinkum…pull the bloke over after the first offence! I understand that the cops have a job to do, but all this does is ramp up anti-police sentiment.

  7. That’s exactly why QLD is a totally stuffed place to ride a bike. The coppers are nothing but arseholes up there. I avoid QLD at all costs.

  8. stanley river road in fact most of the roads around the ranges there get a lot of police attention especially weekends. You just have to be very aware of who is around you if you intend to something illegal

  9. Many years ago I was tailgated up a tight & twisty dark mountain road and felt pressured to speed up. I didn’t speed, just took corners harder, partly crossing double lines. Top of the mountain, on came police lights and he wanted to do me for 11x double line crossings. Not sure how, but I talked my way out of it. No idea why he tailgated me. Very close to being a bad night.

    1. Police acting in a way which causes you to something illegal, which you would otherwise not have done, is called entrapment. It’s illegal for police to do it, they know that, & courts take a dim view of entrapment.

  10. When they do things like this it only proves that revenue and the quotas are more important to them than safety!
    But at least it wasn’t some lunatic in an unmarked car chasing after him risking his life and everyone else’s just for a minor traffic offence.

  11. This is legal and it hurts. I’ve had a couple of instances where I’ve worn multiple offences all at once. The accusations by the cops were all legit, so I wasn’t saying that I wasn’t doing anything wrong (according to the law), but it annoyed me that not only overtaking on solid white lines were added together, so were the number of times the officer following me actually got me on the radar as I overtook on each individual overtaking manoeuvre at 20kmh over the limit. I didn’t bother fighting in court as it wouldn’t get anywhere… 5 years later

    When I got everything back, I once again got done doing the wrong thing multiple times. This time I took it to court and I got lucky as the magistrate lumped each offence together for a single conviction/penalty. That saved me a lot of money and time off the road. His comment during the sentence was that “sometimes the cops can go a little overboard when it comes to motorcyclists, so I’ll give you a break and treat them all as one”.

    A few weeks later I came across a guy at a usual haunt for motorcyclists to stop at doing the Putty/Wollombi loop. This guy comes over and says to me with a smile on his face, “let’s hope they don’t count them all today, hey?!” Yep, that magistrate was a rider too and he went on to tell me that had also been in trouble and received multiple offences the month before he saw me in court so knew exactly what had happened, when and why, and why he ‘helped’ me with some leniency.

      1. Pitty such magistrates are far and few in between, as most uphold laws that are clearly, or less so, injust, i stead of trowing them out of court with a clear message to the legislature to try again!

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