Police have refused to withdraw an incorrect fine for a rider standing on the foot pegs, even though the “commonsense” practice was legalised in South Australia in 2016 and added to the Australian Road Rules this year.
Tim Byrne (pictured above) says he was riding his Triumph Tiger through some roadworks in Adelaide in January 2018 and stood up to see over the 40km/h traffic when he was pulled over by police.
“At this point I was confused,” he says.
“The female police officer informed me that standing on the foot pegs was an offence.”
Tim says the officer told him: “We have a zero tolerance about the fatal five and riding without due care or control is one of them”.
“Confused, I sucked it up and rode off with my $190 blue piece of paper,” Tim says.
However, he then found that the South Australia laws were changed in December 2016 to allow riders to stand on the pegs while moving if they have both feet on the pegs and it is safe. THe rules have also been changed in most other states.
Tim officially asked for the fine to be waived on the grounds that it was incorrect according to the updated road rules.
However, he received a reply on behalf off the Police Commissioner that said the fine would not be withdrawn.
“The issuing officer has the discretion whether to caution or issue an expiation notice,” the police reply says.
“I am satisfied that the issuing officer has exercised their discretion appropriately and do not intend to interfere (with) that decision.”
South Australian rider representative group spokesman Tim Kelly of Ride to Review says it’s “disappointing to learn that riders are still being charged for offences that are no longer applicable”.
“What this means is that even SAPOL aren’t aware of the laws of this state,” he says.
“As such, they could be (or are) fining motorcyclists for offences that commonsense saw end years ago.
“The rider now cops it on the chin or requires legal assistance to determine the validity of the charge and whether it is actually legal.”
Police in several states have been known to issue incorrect fines before due to a lack of knowledge of complex road and vehicle compliance rules.
A recent example is several riders on a charity ride receiving incorrect defect notices for their handlebars.
The fined rider in this case says his fine is due for payment on Tuesday and he is unsure whether it is worth the expense of seeking a lawyer to fight a $190 fine.
“I find myself still unable to decide whether to risk and even greater fine in court plus expenses or just pay it,” he says.
We asked South Australian Police to explain how they can refuse to withdraw a fine that appears to be blatantly incorrect.
They replied that if the rider wishes to dispute the offence and circumstances surrounding the fine, they have every opportunity to do so by contesting the matter in court.