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[Melb] My mate was busted on private property... what now?

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by QuarterWit, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. A mate of mine is a stuntrider, a bloody good one actually who lost his licence some months ago after an accumulation of points. Ever since, he's been getting his stuntbikes taken to various industrial parks around Melbourne to practice in, using a mate with a van to get them around. There's been no problems with this at all, until last weekend. He was doing low-speed work, monos etc at walking pace in a carpark attached to a warehouse. The area is largely obscured from the road by some high hedges.

    While sitting on the bike, with it switched off and his second bike nearby, a cop drove into the carpark in an unmarked car. He got out of the car and said that as he was able to drive into the carpark it was classed as a public road, so he booked him for the following....

    Driving Unlicenced
    Driving an Unregistered Vehicle
    Not displaying P plates
    Driving an Unroadworthy Vehicle

    And a bunch of others. The highlight of which was the copper questioning him as to why his stuntbike didn't have a horn. Over $2000 of fines in total, and many moons added onto my mates already suspended licence. The cop also threw in some free insults, and attitude, the highlight of which was "I know what you guys are like - bet you don't have a job" and all that crap. But hey, my mate's got a good full time job within the industry, so whatever.

    So, what's the best way for him to handle this? Was he really riding on a public road? Can you be done for riding without your P's in his situation? My friend was under the assumption as he was in a private carpark it was private property. But we all know what they say about assumptions... Anyway, where to from here?

  2. You need to establish whether or not it is a public roadway.

    Until such time any ideas that you have are going to be a waste of time.
  3. he doesn't have a leg to stand on, an open carpark is a public road.

    If it was a fenced area with a closed gate AND you had permission to vandalize the yard it would be different story. :roll:
  4. Was your mate also charged with tresspass?
    did he have permission from the factory owners to do stunting?
    Was the area fenced off with a gate?
    he's a goner.
  5. Dunno how the law works in the East, but I'd assume that it isn't too far removed from what we have here in the Land of Sand.

    Here, the term "public road" is not used. We have "roads" and "road related areas" as defined under the Road Traffic Act (and both of which are treated the same as far as the law is concerned).

    Whether or not a particular place is classed as a "road" or a "road related area" has nothing to do with ownership and everything to do with access. Technically, you could be done in your own driveway as, if it's not gated, it is likely to fall under the definitions in the Act.

    If it works the same in your state, I think your mate is stuffed.

  6. i've dealt with a few cops before and this one sounds like a complete wanker.....there are some good ones out there but it s a few that give the rest a bad name.
  7. We heard you the FIRST time Pat .. :p :p
    I also believe, correct me if I am wrong, being in control of the bike could warrant 'unlicensed riding'.
    Similar to being caught 'snoozing' on the side of the road ( intoxicated so sleeping it off ) which is an offence IF the keys are anywhere nearby.
  8. Banoobi, I'll PM you some vids of what he does, and it ain't vandalizing anything. All very low speed stuff, remarkable actually.

    So, if he gets permission off the owner of the factory, would that change anything?

    Thanks for the responses so far fellas!
  9. That is fair enough I guess if he isn't doing burnouts, dropping his bike/fluids on the asphalt etc.

    Gaining permission will make no difference as an open carpark is deemed a public place/road just like your open driveway as someone else suggested.

    Unfortunate for your mate.

    Surprisingly he wasn't done for hooning and had his bike taken?
  10. Are you all sure about this? What is the difference between this and riding an unregistered trail bike on a farm if the farm does not have a fence or gates?

    I woulds have thought if I owned a warehouse, I could do whatever I wanted on my carpark! I'm sure if someone broke a leg in my carpark, I would be liable not the council? I cant see why they can have it both ways?

    either way - better get a lawyer son, better get a real good one!
  11. Calling Tramp.

    There was a thread about this kind of thing which he was fairly vocal in. look it up.
  12. I'm having trouble getting my head around this 'public' 'private' property shit.
    How can my driveway be deemed public access ? It belongs to me, it's on MY private property, and does not allow access to anywhere but my home.
    Open gated shouldn't mean jack-shit IMHO, if it did, would it mean that anyone who does not have gates or such preventing access to their backyard has just made their own backyard 'public access' ? :?
    The carpark in our group of factories are 'common ground' ie privately owned by all owners of the factories. We take out public liability insurance to cover against injuries, it is NOT covered by any council. That said I'd have to assume its Private property .. right?
  13. I guess you are right, so what happens if a pissed driver wipes out some pedestrians in your private carpark, I guess drink driving, culpable driving etc. dont apply?
  14. Im with you, i would think a driveway is private property, its only the first 1.5metres from the road is it deemed public. No-one owns the first metre or so, the council has the decision to put a footpath if they want, bus stop etc and you have no say. The rest is private. I've seen people doing burnouts up there driveway with coppers doing nothing more then wait for them to leave and do somethin.

    That copper also is a wanker hard :jerk:
  15. Good question .. :? I guess said driver was in control of a vehicle whilst intoxicated, in which case he'd be charged. It wouldn't matter he was on private property, the offence would be being in charge of a vehicle whilst over the limit.. ????
  16. Like I said, here in WA ownership means nothing when it comes to what is defined as a road or road related area. That's not just my opinion, but is based on fairly extensive professional experience with WA's traffic laws. As far as I know, all the states have their legislation available on line these days. Go and look up your local Road Traffic Act and check the definition of a "road". You won't find reference to ownership or property in WA's and I'll bet you won't find it in any others either. Whilst differences in legislation between states do exist, the broad legislative structure and definitions of terms are fairly uniform, so I suspect that this will be the case elsewhere in Australia too.

    So, yes, if you've no fences or gates, the public can be deemed to have access and so your property may very well fall under the control of your local Road Traffic Act.

    Now, I can see there being some wriggle room for lawyerly argument around whether members of the public have reasonable cause to access your property. If they haven't, maybe you could make the "no access" argument stick. But maybe not. In the case of a works or warehouse's carpark which visitors to said works or warehouse would need to pass through to get in, there wouldn't be much argument.

    In the real world, most cops don't want the hassle, but if someone actually makes a complaint or if the cop in question is looking for trouble, yes, you could be done for a burnout on your own driveway or in your works carpark, or get nailed for that unlicenced, rusting heap in front of your carport or any one of any number of other things.

    Just 'cos you own it doesn't mean its not a road.
  17. I think he might be fcuked :

    Driving a motor vehicle on land which is not a highway (e.g. private property not open to the public).

    * All of the usual drink driving laws apply to driving on private property.
    * All of the motor vehicle accident laws apply to accidents on private property.
    * The majority of driving laws do not apply on private property (e.g. seatbelts, speeding).
    * You are not obliged to state your name and address upon request unless you are found driving on a "highway".
    * You are not obliged to produce a drivers licence (or be licenced) unless you are found driving on a "highway".
    * A private road or driveway on a farm might still be a highway if it is open to the public for driving.
    * The offence of 'driving in a manner dangerous to the public' can be committed anywhere. Careless driving can be committed on a highway only.
    * Drink driving offences can be committed anywhere within the State, even in your locked garage.

  18. I'm here!

    IF it was private property and the road is not "public" a lot of charges don't apply and the copper can go get etc..........
    At most your mate could get charged with tresspass.

    Need a lot more info.
    PM me
  19. I've been told you can get done for drink driving for riding a push bike. Taking this to the extreme then, technically your saying if I have a party and while drunk decide to take my daughters tricycle for a lap around the kitchen, if there is a undercover cop at my party, I can loose my license for drink driving! Surely not!
  20. Had a look for the Victorian equivalent of the Road Traffic Act (seems to be the Road Safety Act 1986) and dug up the definition of "road" and "road related area". Looking at the wording, I'm probably even less optimistic about your mate's chances than I was before.

    Handing over to the properly trained legal person now.