A Perth rider has failed in his challenge to a $550 fine for a loose helmet strap after he says he only loosened it with one hand to talk to two motorcycle police who pulled him over.
Julian Collis says the judge sided with the officers despite proving in court he could undo his helmet with one hand and despite both cops swearing he was wearing an open-face helmet.
“I was actually wearing a full-face Bilteell Gringo helmet at the time, so that evidence was clouded,” he says.
“I had taken my motorcycle gloves off and put them on the console and loosened my chin strap to take off my helmet but I kept it on when I was told I wasn’t being done for speeding.”
Julian also believes his lawyer proved there was reasonable doubt that police missed seeing him loosen his helmet strap as they were occupied issuing a speeding ticket to a driver at the time.
Unfortunately the police officers’ helmet cameras were not operating as they had parked their bikes to conduct the speed trap.
“In the end, the judge said the two officers had dovetail evidence,” he says.
“We pointed out that they had lunch together in the court recess and could have illegally collaborated on evidence.
“The judge asked if they discussed the case and they said they didn’t and the judge believed them.
“It was a case of two against one.”
Julian copped the original $550 fine and four demerit points plus $205 court costs, although his lawyer did not charge him a fee.
However, he says he has no regrets.
“I got to say my piece and tell the truth from what I can remember on the day,” he says.
“I wouldn’t ride around with a loose helmet strap. I value my safety as I have three small children at home and I’ve been riding for 20 years.
“I could appeal to the Supreme Court, but my lawyer said we had done as much as we can.”
Regulation 244 of the Western Australia Road Traffic Code 2000 states that a motorcycle must not be ridden unless an approved helmet is securely fitted and fastened to the head of the rider.
“It doesn’t mention anything about how tight the helmet strap should be so it’s open to police interpretation,” Julian says.