video footage taken by the bikers, showing many of the dangerous manoeuvres.
Motorcyclists who took part in an “outrageous” level of dangerous riding on a motorway in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire received driving bans totalling more than 10 years at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, July 21st, 2016.
The offences occurred on Sunday, April 13th, 2014. Police received reports from members of the public of bikers riding dangerously on the A1(M). Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (RPU) stopped the group, but also discovered that one of the bikers had discarded two digital video recorders in the Hatfield tunnel.
Officers seized the devices and on viewing the go-pro footage, that the cameras had been attached to the front and rear of one of the bikes. Which recorded the riders’ journey from an Outdoors car park in Bedford, along the A421 and then south on the A1(M) before being stopped at Hatfield.
The cameras recorded numerous dangerous manoeuvres including wheelies and overtaking and undertaking at high speed. Some dangerous wheelies were performed at high speed while the rider was standing on the seat.
The footage was given to Road Safety experts who analysed it to provide submittable evidence for a prosecution. Establishing the identification of the vehicles involved, the speeds they were travelling at and the traffic offences committed.
The six motorcyclists were disqualified from driving and order to pay £500 costs after pleading guilty to dangerous driving offences at earlier hearings. Details below:
• Matthew Langley, aged 37, of Marston Mortaine, Bedford, was disqualified for three years;
• Malik Blackburn, aged 31, and of Corfe Road, Bedford, was disqualified for two years;
• Axel Jones, aged 25, of Bedford Road, Turvey, was disqualified for 18 months;
• Matthew James, aged 29, of Princess Street, Bedford, was disqualified for 18 months;
• Jonathan Wartnaby, aged 32, and of Springfield Avenue, Kempston, was disqualified for 18 months;
• Kevin Saunders, aged 29, of Withnell Road, Blackpool, was disqualified for 12 months.
On Tuesday (July 19), motorist Alistair Turner was also found guilty of dangerous driving in relation to the same incident. The 50-year-old man of Stevenage, had been driving on the A1(M) and was provoked by the bikers’ behaviour. Driving a silver Mercedes, he performed several dangerous overtakes and undertakes in the hard shoulder possibly to intimidate the bikers. He was also identified from the footage and was given a disqualification for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £2,700.
PC Damian Bevan, from the RPU, said: “The defendants acted with a group mentality, presumably trying to impress each other with their outrageous and extremely dangerous antics.
Not only did they show flagrant disregard for the rules of the road, but they put themselves and others in unnecessary danger. They are fortunate that they did not cause a serious accident.
“They probably thought they would get away with it, however on finding their own footage we were able to use it to build a case against them with the expert support of Road Safety Support.
“Our roads are not a playground for those who want to participate in extreme motorsports; they can be dangerous places even at the best of times and require all motorists to act responsibly and with sufficient care to make sure they are as safe as possible for all road users.”
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