Riders charged over third-party GoPro evidence

Gopro helmet camera 2015 ban

NSW Police are charging riders with traffic offences based on GoPro video evidence obtained from other riders, says Sydney lawyer and Ducati 1098S rider Chris Kalpage.

There have been many incidents of riders being charged after self-incriminating evidence was found on their GoPro footage, mobile phone data, GPS and even bike data loggers.

However, Chris says he knows of at least two occasions where NSW Highway Patrol have sifted through the GoPro video of riders to find offences by other riders they may have been following.

He says these riders have been fined for speeding, crossing unbroken and double lines, wheelies, etc.

GoPro evidenceShoei helmet with a GoPro action camera mounted

“I have had matters where a person may spend the day riding with their GoPro videoing their heroics coming up behind other riders who unknowingly may be transgressing,” says Chris, 61, who has been riding since he was 15.

“The rider with the GoPro is spotted at the end of the day by police and pulled over for some transgression that the officer has seen and confiscate their GoPro.

“Subsequently they play the video back at the station and then pay visits to anybody they see on the video.

“The police will then attend the premises of the registered owners of the bikes that they have seen on the videos and place a notice of demand asking that they identify who the rider was at the relevant time.”

Chris Kalpage evidence
Chris on his Duc

Police rights

Chris says police may be within their legal rights to confiscate your GoPro or any other device if “certain prerequisites exist”.

In some places, such as America, police may first have to obtain a search warrant. In Australia, they don’t, so long as the search is lawful.

If police conduct a lawful search, they can seize your camera, SD card, phone, GPS or bike data.

A lawful search is where you give police permission to search you or when the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” that you could have an item containing evidence of an offence.

A crash is a situation where police might exercise their right to collect relevant evidence from victims, offenders and bystanders.

Riders’ rights

Chris Kalpage evidence
Chris Kalpage

Chris says NSW Police are going to the home of the registered owners of bikes they have seen on video and formally demanding they identify the rider at the relevant time.

Of course, he advises riders approached by police to identify themselves to first contact their lawyer.

“They often wont show you the video and you will have to take it on faith that you were the relevant bike that was seen on someone’s GoPro footage,” he says.

“In the absence of your election the police have no evidence as to who the rider may have been.”

Chris says it could be difficult for police to substantiate a speeding offence based on the video of a following rider.

Chris Kalpage
Chris Kalpage

“It may be that the speedo of the GoPro rider’s bike can be seen but then it would amount to whether the rider is speeding to catch up with the bike in front or is keeping a consistent distance, and visual over a reasonable period of time,” he says.

“Similarly how do we know whether the GoPro rider’s speedo is accurate? After all, many of us change the sprockets of our bikes which can affect the speedo accuracy.”

He advises that there are many factors in video GoPro evidence that may be challenged, including the legality of the seizure of the evidence.

Click here for our advice to riders about confiscation of a device which may have incriminating evidence.

If you have any questions about this topic or other traffic-related matter, you can ask Chris by leaving your question in the comments section below.

9 Comments

  1. Sharing the road. Lessons for all of us.
    From the turtles to the Marc M wanna bees.
    A yearly visit to ABI and Para Quad recovery hospitals. May makes us all realise it’s about everyone enjoying public roads.
    No one is the King.
    L2R. Tic.

  2. There are several models of hard wired front and rear crash cams available for bikes, are the cops going to try to confiscate those? That would require taking the bike to bits to remove!

  3. Just implement a simple rule, and I mean a rule, ‘no dash cam or other cam video to be operating during the ride/drive.’ This will significantly reduce the chances of the door bell ringing. Our national max speed limit is archaic and apart from myself and an Aussie F1 driver, no one is willing to push this point that this is a major cause of accidents. It takes forever to get from A to B in this large country and we need a change of culture in this regard to reduce the road toll.

  4. I stopped using Go Pro as a safety recording addition because of the seize reports in 2018 & on viewing some of my now deleted recordings there were ‘alleged’ road rule transgressions ;o
    I agree with ‘no go pro for my riding’ with perhaps motorcyclists are discriminated against?
    & the ‘Al’ suggestion of having hidden recording devices & duds in the open LOL

  5. Will the.poilice also be confiscating dash cams from all truck and car drivers they pull over? If not this is discrimination. Class action?

  6. Here we go again.
    I like it when we had a Police Service where the police served the community as public servants,but now as I have stated on this site before, it is the word FORCE added to Police and now it becomes you are “guilty and you have to prove your innocent” OOOOP’s something is wrong real wrong.
    Sure some one will type in oh! if you don’t speed etc you will be ok, to the I say F*** OFF, have you been stuck behind a large caravan pulled by a V8 Landcruiser doing 80 in a 100 zone with 8 vehicles behind People like that person needs lessons and a drivers course for towing, most of these people are over the age of 65 and got no idea on towing.
    Please don’t forget to hop off your Motorcycle when using a mobile phone,don’t sit on your motorcycle and talk with the motor idling/running you will get booked same as in a car and if in a car your passenger is using a mobile phone or laptop, you are booked as it is a distraction to the driver WTF, my wife uses her phone to help me navigate in unknown territory or streets.
    Now if elected Government can not run a business and make a profit with out changing the rules to make more $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ by ripping off Aussie’s, then don’t run the biggest business which is NSW or Australia.

    1. Then they will ‘Strip Search’ you on the side of the road – I know what the mongrels are like – rip everything off the bike and undress you n the side of the road – ‘looking for drugs’ is the usual argument they give …

      And IF you OBJECT, then You are Handcuffed and Arrested for your Protest of Innocence – You Can’t win if they nab you – the ONLY Possible way around their abuse of power, is to keep going, and find a shop, a servo, or someone that can BE A WITNESS to the Event/s that Will Definitely take place – BECAUSE you Felt ‘Vulnerable & a Victim of their Intimidation of Being Ordered to Pull over and Stop for doing Nothing Wrong EXCEPT BEING A Biker/Motorcyclist who was riding on his own minding his own business and not threatening or intimidating anyone….

      What would the JUDGE make of that when Presented to Him/Her in a Court of Law …
      Could be interesting maybe ???
      Afraid of Being Tazered or Pepper Sprayed if stopped away from the Eyes of Witnesses – Way to many cases of Police Using Excessive Force to Gain and/or Maintain you into a Submissive Position, where you can be set upon with batons after being tazered and pepper sprayed into submission and there IS NO WAY to STOP this Being DONE either.
      You Open your mouth to complain and you get another bash in the ribs with the baton.

      WHAT a GREAT BAND of HEROS these OFFICERS of the POLICE “FORCE” are – They aresouls of mercy 🙂

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