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.
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.”
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.