Our specialist motoring solicitor Andrew Prendergast guides bikers through their legal trials and troubles
Q I’m a police officer and have been on the job for nearly ten years. I’ve got a mate who’s been in six months longer than me and he has just been revetted. It’s a hot topic at the moment and I’m expecting to get hit up on my 10-year anniversary. Now here’s the problem. Over Easter, I went to Spain and rented a KTM 890 Adventure with a mate. I must confess I had the mindset that the Spanish Police and authorities couldn’t do much to us Brits post-Brexit, so we ragged it everywhere.
We were on a ‘spirited ride’ through a mountain town when I saw a speed camera flash. Later that night my mate (another police officer) laughed and said it wasn’t illegal if you were abroad! The problem I now have is the Spanish authorities have written, directing me to pay a fine. I was doing 87kmph in a 50kmph zone. They must have got my address from the rental company. I’ve read online that Spain can’t endorse points on my UK licence, so I’m minded to ignore it. However, I’m worried about my revetting. What do you think? I would also add that I am in a road policing unit.
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A As you will be aware, police vetting is essential in assessing an individual’s integrity and so has a strong link to public trust and confidence in policing. Therefore, what will be ignoring the Spanish Police/authorities say about you? Leaving that question to hang for a moment, I think you’re a class-A ball bag. You’re a policeman in a road policing unit. 50kmph zones are for built-up areas and you’re ragging through it like a private racetrack. What would you, as a British policeman, say to the Spanish driver if you caught them ragging through a British village at 54mph in a 30mph zone? I suspect you would through the book at them.
Leaving aside the fact you have been an utter dipstick, it is correct that a foreign country cannot endorse penalty points on your UK licence. However, nothing stops them from pursuing you for the fine in the UK or Spanish courts. I also have concerns that if you do not pay the fine and try to ignore it, you could be prosecuted in a criminal court in Spain (either with or without your attendance), and you will have turned a simple speeding fine into a much bigger problem as you will then have to declare a criminal court conviction. I advise you to avoid court proceedings either in the UK or in Spain as I suspect that may well affect your revetting. Practically, my advice is to pay the fine. Then you will have to check with your police force if you have to disclose a Spanish speeding fine during any revetting. Even if you do, I suspect it will unlikely make a difference.
The MB legal column is compiled by managing partner Andrew ‘Chef’ Prendergast and his bike-riding barristers and solicitors at White Dalton Motorcycle Solicitors.
The firm deals with personal injury claims, and its sister company, Motor Defence Solicitors, deals with all motoring offences. White Dalton lawyers have a vast knowledge of bike law, and they have full bike licences, too. They don’t act for insurance companies or the prosecution. White Dalton is Britain’s premier specialist motorcycle law practice, and if its professionals don’t know the answer to your question, there probably isn’t one. Don’t rely on the advice from your insurance-appointed solicitor, get proper independent advice.
For road traffic offences, call the Motor Defence solicitors on 0800 280 0912.
For non-offence cases, call White Dalton motorcycle solicitors on 0800 783 6191.
If you need advice on a biking-related legal question or query, email [email protected]. The best Q&A will be published in MB, in confidence, of course.
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