Motorcycle theft

Fears over motorcycle thieves terrorising bikers across Newcastle

Northumbria Police has launched a specialist squad of officers to tackle motorcycle theft in the area.

It is reported that over 100 motorcycles have been stolen in two months alone. Many of the bikes go on to be used in petty crimes such as theft. The rise in bike theft has followed a rise in a similar crime in London. Many of the individuals involved are thought to be as young as 13 and 14-years-old.

 

Det Chief Insp Paul Knox, said: “This is a big problem for us now. It’s getting out of control and it’s a real concern. 

“It’s only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt, either a member of the public, another road users or one of the kids themselves. We are not in London, but London started somewhere.”

Polite-Vest

Bikers wrongfully charged over polite vest

Motorcyclist Darren Emanuel, 47, an independent financial consultant, has been a biker for many years and was riding his white, ex-police BMW R1200RT when he was stopped by a police officer who had seen him from the opposing carriageway.

The officer concluded that Emanuel was trying to impersonate an officer

After the officer checked the bike over, he then turned to the clothing choice of Emanuel. At the time, Darren was wearing his “Polite Think Bike” vest and a white helmet. Combined with the look of his motorcycle, the officer concluded that Emanuel was attempting to impersonate an officer. The officer made notes and sent Darren on his way.

Only after Emanuel later made a complaint to the police about his treatment was he called into a police station about the incident. He was then charged with wearing a police uniform, which was calculated to deceive, and the case went to court.

Darren was ordered to pay costs

The court saw that Darren was not attempting to deceive the public, but was ordered to pay £670 in costs.

The story was then blown out of proportion by the media, and even people from other countries heard of Darren’s story.

“I had friends in other countries who read about it,” Emanuel said. “After the news of the conviction appeared online, my job contract wasn’t renewed, and my landlord served a notice on my house.”

‘Polite’ vests have since come under intense scrutiny. However, a Met Police spokesperson exclaimed back in 2013 that “It does not look like a police uniform. It is merely a high visibility jacket, so it would not be illegal.”

Despite appealing against the conviction, the damage had been done

Emanuel successfully appealed the conviction two weeks later, but the damage was already done. Following his appeal, Emanuel took out a libel case against the newspapers and websites he says it defamed him, which was later settled out of court, however, many of those publications have refused to print corrections, and Emanuel says he remains out of pocket.

He expressed: “While these items of clothing are perfectly legal, wearing one caused me a great deal of trouble, anxiety, expense, loss of my home and loss of work’.

If you need legal assistance with a motorcycle offence, contact SorryMate today and discover how we can help

Biker Covers plate

Biker fined £2,000 trying to avoid Avoid Speeding Ticket

A biker has been fined more than £2,000 after he tried to avoid detection whilst speeding at over 90mph.

Robert Went, 43, knew he had been caught speeding but thought he would evade justice by covering his registration plate with his hand.

Robert was caught 86mph by a police van

He was caught riding at 86mph by a police van on June 3 last year in Horton, North Yorkshire.

However, Robert, from Bolton, stopped before passing the van to speak to a fellow rider. He then continued riding past the police van, covering the plate on his BMW S1000 RR with his hand. Police said the practice has become common among bikers but they will spend time tracking them down.

As well as being convicted of speeding he has now been convicted of perverting the course of justice. Along with the fine, he will have to do 240 hours of community service. Surely being caught and given a ticket in the first place would have been a better idea for Robert.

North Yorkshire police won’t tolerate these kinds of offences

Traffic cop Andrew Forth said: ‘This is the third motorcyclist successfully prosecuted by North Yorkshire Police for this type of offence, where a rider covers their number plate after being caught speeding. ‘It seems this act is on the increase on North Yorkshire’s roads – but it will not be tolerated.

‘Any reports will be investigated and offenders put before the courts. Other investigations are already underway for similar incidents’.

‘North Yorkshire Police will be actively targeting key locations throughout the year with increased patrols, to make our roads safer for the communities of North Yorkshire.’

It seems as though covering up the number plate on your bike can actually land you in more trouble than being caught and slapped with a fine. In principle, the same treatment would apply to the folding number plate brackets too!

isleofmanTT

17% Increase In Arrests Made At Isle Of Man TT

Following the recent Isle of Man TT, statistics have been released showing the number of arrests made over the duration of the festival.

Arrests continue to grow during the festival

In 2018, the number of arrests made was 126. In 2019, it has increased to 148. What’s the reason for this increase? Well, with poor weather taking over the event many days, spectators flooded into local pubs and clubs to make the most of what they could do. Many of the arrests were drink related!

However, collisions are on the decrease

However, despite the increased number of arrests, the number of collisions has decreased from 78 (2018) to 62 (2019). Was this because the weather forced everyone in the pub for a social?

isle of man TT

A temporary speed limit has helped decrease accidents

Due to the high police presence and a temporary speed limit of 50mph, there were no motorcycle accidents on the Coast road. A success in the eyes of many.

There were two fatal accidents on the Isle of Man this year, both taking place in different locations on the Sloc A36 road in the south of the Island.

The statistics released were measured from Saturday 25th May to Friday 7th June, giving us the most accurate statistics possible. It is hoped that the statistics of fatalities will continue to decrease, and the number of arrests will follow the same path.

We would like to offer condolences to the families of people that lost their lives this year at the TT, including the family of Daley Mathison after he sadly passed away due to an accident on course.

Noise Cameras

Noise Cameras set to be tested to crack down on illegal exhausts

In a bid to cut down on illegal exhausts, the department of transport has released that they will be trialling new noise cameras at various locations across the UK. Over the next seven months the department will monitor the success of the trial, and if successful, will roll the cameras out across the UK later in the year.

The scheme aims to crack down on illegal exhausts

The new initiative is aimed at drivers and motorcyclists with illegal exhaust systems in the hope to cut down on the amount of noise pollution created by vehicles. A microphone will record the sound of a passing vehicle, before ANPR and video and image capturing cameras collect visual evidence against the offending machine.

When talking about the new trial, Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said “Noise pollution makes the lives of people in communities across Britain an absolute misery and has severe health impacts. This is why I am determined to crack down on the nuisance drivers who blight our streets,” he added. “New technology will help us lead the way in making our towns and cities quieter, and I look forward to seeing how these exciting new cameras could work.

Security Camera

It’s predicted that more bikers will receive punishments

Up until now, noise regulations have been enforced subjectively by Police officers. Eliminating subjectivity means that more people are likely to be punished for their illegal actions. The cameras will also take into account the speed and location of the vehicle when the offence takes place.

CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, Tony Campbell, also said: “With growing pressure on the environment, including noise pollution, illegal exhausts fitted by some riders attract unwanted attention to the motorcycle community and do nothing to promote the many benefits motorcycles can offer.

“All manufacturers produce new motorcycles that follow strict regulations regarding noise and emissions, and we welcome these trials as a potential way of detecting excessive noise in our community.”

Motorway

Bikers have some tough decisions to make in relation to their exhausts

So, what will bikers choose to do now? Will we change the bikes exhausts back to standard or will we run the risk of being caught? A saying that’s been around for a while is that” loud pipes save lives” and certainly when it comes to filtering, it can assist in being heard and therefore seen. A quick blip of the throttle can alert other road users to your presence and reduce the risk of an incident.

The trial comes after extensive research has taken place and concluded that excessive noise pollution could not only be harmful physically but mentally too. Although we think some people might disagree, personally,  the noise of our bikes at Sorrymate brings nothing but joy and happiness!

 

BikerBiker Article Cover Photo

Bikers are shaking up the world of bike theft

When you think of superheroes, often the first thing that comes to mind isn’t leather-wearing burly bikers. However, volunteer bike recovery team Biker Biker have increased their patrols and recovery work throughout the UK in order to combat crime. The group offers a free recovery service for anyone that has had their bike stolen, something that the police often charge £150 for. In addition to this, they work closely with Knights Recovery and transport, saving Bikers hundreds of pounds in recovering their pride and joy after a theft.

Bike thefts are a common occurrence

It’s estimated that on average, 40,000 motorcycles are stolen every year in the UK. Often thieves will remove a motorcycle by breaking and entering into an area, followed shortly by hotwiring or other tampering methods to start the bike. In addition to this, It’s not uncommon for thieves to use vans or wagons. This allows them to pull-over, then grab your bike and go- all in under 10 seconds. Biker Biker recovers two bikes a week and successfully return them to their rightful owners. In addition to their recovery work, they also actively catch thieves in the act of stealing bikes. The group do all of this out of their own free time- what a team!

Biker Biker with police

The group rely upon donations to keep their voluntary work afloat

The money that is needed to keep this voluntary service running is all raised at biker events across the country. So if you see these guys, be sure to drop a few coins into their bucket. After all, you never know when you may have to call upon their services.

When interviewed, Shane, the founder of Biker Biker, stated that the patrols were massively important to them. Their only goal for the patrols is to reunite bikers with their stolen pride and joy.

Biker-Biker-Group

The team are additionally focusing on raising awareness

In addition to the patrols, Biker Biker has been attending BSB meets, as well as the Southend Shakedown and the 1066 ride out. It is hoped that by attending the events, the group can pass out advice and raise awareness on bike security and preventing theft.

The group receives support from local police

Shane stated that the local police are very supportive of what they bring to the biking community. However, he worryingly pointed out that there was a growing trend for others to set up vigilante groups. He said it’s necessary to the success of their work to ensure that they stay above board.

“We’re completely above board. The best thing that these people could do is come out with us to increase our support.”

Biker-Biker-Recovery

The group recently recovered a £16,000 motorcycle

One of the latest recoveries made by the heroic group was of a Ducati Multistrada 1000. The recovery occurred a year after it was stolen. When the motorcycle was returned, the group stated that the owner was extremely grateful as he and his dad had spent a lot of time and money adding a custom Tricolore paint scheme.

When Biker Biker discovered the location of the bike, with the help of the Met Police, they claimed it back and returned it. The group caught up with the leader of a gang attempting to sell the beloved motorcycle on. If the group had arrived just moments later and the bike could have been gone forever.

Biker Biker Group hoody

The Biker community continues to thrive

The biking community is such a compassionate and altruistic one that it comes as no surprise that in the face of adversity, groups such as Biker Biker continue to support their fellow riders. There is truly no other group with the same bond such as bikers. Recovery group Biker Biker is a reflection of the strength that runs through the community and we applaud them on their continued efforts to help reduce crime and fix others misfortune.

To find out more about Biker Biker or to give your support, click here.

Biker Bike Gang

Police-and-motorbike

Police urged bikers not to put safety at risk

Motorbike riders are being urged to make sure they’re not putting their own safety, and the safety of other road users, at risk.

This week, West Mercia Police have issued a public reminder to all bikers to remain safe on the road. This announcement follows the launch of their Think Bike campaign last month.

As the weather picks up it’s easy to get carried away on the dry roads. However it’s important to remember that one of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes is the failure to navigate around bends. This alone causes over 22% of accidents.

In addition to this, motorcyclists losing control on their bike and hitting a stationary object such as a tree accounts for over 9% of bike accidents.

Local Policing Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans said: “We know there are some great routes for motorbike riders through our counties and that during the warmer months riders want to make the most of these.

“We have seen cases where the driving behaviour of bikers has caused concern, and the rider has unnecessarily put themselves and other road users at risk.

“Bikers can often be at higher risk of being involved in a collision and we want to make sure everything is being done to reduce this.

“All road users have a responsibility in making our roads safer. We know motorbike riders are more vulnerable and would ask that riders make sure they do their bit by not taking unnecessary risks.”

As a result of the increase in motorcycle traffic, Police will be carrying out proactive operations on key routes utilising several different tactics throughout the summer months. The underlying intent is to target irresponsible and reckless road users.

To find more about our tips on staying safe on the road – visit our biker safety tips here. Alternatively, if you’ve been involved in a motorcycle crash – click here to contact our expert team. Find out today how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Motorcycle accident

Motorcycle Accident Statistics Released

It’s no surprise to most of us bikers that we’re the most vulnerable road users, but shocking new statistics have recently been released that has had many of us question why more isn’t being done.

The government have many initiatives around, including the popular “Think Bike, Think Biker” campaign, but bikers are apparently still 40 times more prone to road and traffic accidents than any other road user. Again, it isn’t surprising that it is, in fact, other road users who are primarily responsible for accidents involving bikers, and not the bikers themselves.

The majority of road users usually assume things such as filtering or overtaking are the main cause of accidents if not done safely, however these types of accidents only account for 15% of the total number. A shocking 38% of accidents are caused by Highway Code violations made by other road users, which is leading many to believe that there should be stricter measures undertaken during driving tests to avoid car accidents.

Recently a poll found that the majority of people believe that not enough training is given to new drivers about motorcyclists on the road. Current driver training is lacking specifics about how other road users may have an effect on car drivers and they, therefore, do not spend enough time looking for bikers or giving proper signals. One major example of this is when a driver changes lanes without signalling or seeing a biker who may be attempting to overtake. These types of cases are all too familiar but they can be prevented.

The most shocking statistics, however, are that in 2012 there were over 25,000 bikers injured, 585 of which were fatal cases with the most vulnerable bikers are those aged 21-25. Although motorcycle related accidents only account for 1% of the total road accidents, bikers accounted for 20% of road deaths last year.

Here at SorryMate.com, we believe more can be done to raise awareness of this vulnerability. Many bikers around the country have been supporting the campaign for more biker orientated training for new car drivers as well as helping to publicise government-backed initiatives to help keep you safe. Unfortunately, there will always be idiots on the road, so as many of you will be back on your bikes as we head into spring be cautious and ensure you’re seen.

If you want more information on road and traffic accidents and how to avoid them, or what to do in the event of an accident, SorryMate.com can provide free talks to bike clubs all around the country. For more information email paul@sorrymate.com.

Oil on road

Diesel Spill Accident Claims

Unfortunately, SorryMate has seen a rise in diesel spill accident claims recently. This could have something to do with the time of the year, and we hope the number of accidents doesn’t continue to rise, but we thought we would provide you with some useful information regarding diesel spills just in case.

Firstly, never assume that you cannot claim for an accident you have that is caused by a diesel spill. A lot of people don’t think they can claim because it doesn’t immediately seem that anyone is at fault, but it’s likely someone is and we can investigate it for you.

It can be difficult to see diesel spills, especially in wet weather, and other than slowing down to ridiculous speeds, there is no way to improve the likelihood of seeing the spills. All you can do is keep your eyes on the road and stay alert and we cannot help you with this. We can, however, help you get the compensation you deserve if the evidence points to the spill being there due to the negligence of another driver (which it often is).

No matter how unlikely you think it is that someone at fault can be found, call us on 0800 6 300 301. SorryMate has years of experience dealing with these claims and we have had a huge success rate in dealing with diesel spill claims. We’re not just here to deal with collisions, so whenever and however you come off your bike, call SorryMate!

Legal Questions

Legal questions bikers ask

Do I have to use the solicitor chosen for me by my insurers? This is a question which crops time and time up again when we visit motorcycle shows.

The one-word answer is no. It is your basic right to choose who represents you. After a motorcycle crash, people are usually given a solicitor by their insurance company or by a legal expenses company (legal expenses is the extra £10 on your policy). Your insurers will have a panel of firms who they use. These firms generally pay a lot of money for the work and have conditions attached regarding how files are run and who they report to.

What if I don’t like the solicitor my insurance has selected?

All solicitors are bound by a lot of Laws and Regulations which exist to protect clients. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the style of service you desire is provided by them. If that is the case, then you can simply pick your own solicitor. It is literally that simple. SorryMate deals with both new cases and transfers. Even if your solicitor has started on your cases, it’s still possible for you to switch to us.

How do I know if my solicitor is biker friendly

Not all solicitors understand what it means to be a biker. However, SorryMate is linked with solicitors across the country who are into bikes. We know all about the issues that are specific to bike claims because we are bikers. If you want to find a biker friendly solicitor, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

My insurance has threatened to not cover my legal costs

Your insurers or legal expenses insurers may threaten not to cover legal costs if you do not use their lawyers. This is not a problem and any competent solicitor can sort insurance out for you. Your basic right is not limited in any way. Just because you have had a motorcycle crash, does not mean your solicitor can decide who represents you.

If you have any other questions in relation to your Bike accident and you want free legal advice, don’t hesitate to contact SorryMate.