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SA Motorcycle pursuits - SA Coroner

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Chef, May 24, 2012.

  1. Going to try something a little different this time. I've gotten hold of a South Australian Coroner's report into the pursuit and subsequent death of a motorcyclist. Rather than post the report at once I've decided to divide it up into sections and post them as a series. If you have an issue with that feel free to go and read a different thread.

    Some people may find themselves under the impression this falls into the category of a 'Rider Down Thread' which will be incorrect. All of the accepted facts pertaining to the fatality will be laid out as they were processed and accepted under law. This is not a catchy headline or news article so you are advised not to consider it as such.

    It will be inevitable that whilst discussing the facts as they are laid out that some assumptions will need to be made to further the discussion. This is understandable and if within reason may be acceptable. Keeping in mind that in due course ALL available facts will be revealed.

    Consider this an exercise in law and view it as the law in practice. Irrespective of your beliefs or feelings on the matter, consider that some people have an interest in the subject and post your thoughts accordingly.

  2. Working under his car and it fell off the jack, Crushing him,

    That would give those injurys,
  3. Where possible I'll remove the full name of the deceased out of respect. If i miss one please inform me but obviously don't quote the text. Cheers.

    1. Introduction and reason for Inquest
    1.1. <full name removed> Mr McNamara died on 16 November 2005 at the Lyell McEwin Hospital (LMH). He was 28 years of age. He died of multiple injuries due to blunt chest and abdominal trauma. These injuries had been sustained earlier that day when he had lost control of his motorcycle and struck a signpost that was situated in the median strip of Elizabeth Way at Elizabeth. He had been pursued by police after he had failed to stop when directed to do so. Mr McNamara’s many injuries included lacerations of the small bowel mesentery, a retroperitoneal haematoma, a small tear of the inferior vena cava and multiple small bowel perforations. There were right-sided rib fractures and bilateral haemothoraces as well as a fracture/dislocation of the 3rd thoracic vertebra with an associated spinal cord injury at that level. He died on the operating table. A post-mortem examination was conducted by Dr John Gilbert, a Forensic Pathologist at Forensic Science South Australia. Dr Gilbert has reported that the cause of Mr McNamara’s death was multiple injuries due to blunt chest and abdominal trauma. I find that to have been the cause of Mr McNamara’s death.

    1.2. This case again illustrates the dangers associated with police pursuits of motorcyclists and the general undesirability of that practice in the light of its potential consequences. In this regard one only has to contemplate the mechanism by which Mr McNamara lost control of his motorcycle to understand the potential for serious injury that the practice generates. The evidence is that the rear wheel of the motorcycle struck the kerb of the median strip which resulted in the rider being catapulted from the motorcycle into a signpost that was situated on the median strip.

    The injuries that Mr McNamara sustained are consistent with him having been thrown from the motorcycle and then having forcefully struck the signpost with his chest and abdomen. Although at the time of the accident Mr McNamara was wearing a full-face black and white Arai motorcycle helmet, it clearly offered no protection against chest and abdominal trauma.

    1.3. Neither alcohol nor drugs played any part in the fatal incident.

    1.4. The fact that Mr McNamara was riding a motorcycle, as opposed to driving a motor car, was instrumental in his suffering fatal injuries. There is no reason to suppose that if at the time of this incident Mr McNamara had been driving a car, he would have sustained mortal injuries or necessarily have lost control of his vehicle. The case exemplifies the special dangers associated with the loss of control of a motorcycle in circumstances where a motorcyclist is being pursued by police and how special considerations apply, or should apply, in the conduct of such pursuits. I have already referred to this subject in my findings in the matter of the death of Steven Michael
    Bradford who also died of injuries sustained after he lost control of a motorcycle having been pursued by police.

    1.5. At the time with which this Inquest is concerned, Mr McNamara resided with his partner, <removed> According to Ms Maile’s witness statement he had been riding motorcycles for a number of years. He owned a 2005 1000cc Yamaha motorcycle that was registered in his name and at the address to which I have referred. According to Mr Christopher Graham who is a vehicle examiner with the South Australia Police Major Crash Investigation Unit, the motorcycle was in good condition and had nothing mechanically wrong with it that would have contributed towards or caused the fatal collision.

    1.6. Mr McNamara held a full motorcycle licence but it had expired in May. He had not renewed it. Notwithstanding its expiry, it appears that he continued to ride his motorcycle in contravention of the law. However, there is no suggestion that Mr McNamara was not qualified to hold a full motorcycle licence or that he had been disqualified from holding or obtaining such a licence. If he had ridden his motorcycle while under disqualification, this would have constituted a significantly more serious offence which might have invited imprisonment if detected. Rather, his lack of licence at the time was the result of his failure to renew his licence and pay the necessary fee. There is no suggestion that his riding in contravention of his obligation to hold a current licence would have invited a term of imprisonment or even have warranted his arrest. The motorcycle was registered and insured at the time.

    1.7. Mr McNamara was detected by police riding his motorcycle without a licence in the vicinity of the Elizabeth City Centre and his failure to stop when requested to do so precipitated the pursuit that culminated in the fatal accident. In fact this detection was not the first such detection that day. Mr McNamara had earlier on the day in question been detected riding his motorcycle without a licence at Brahma Lodge and had been issued with an expiation notice for that offence. At approximately midday on 16 November 2005, which was a Wednesday, Mr McNamara was stopped on Main North Road, Brahma Lodge by a solo uniformed police patrol manned by Constable
    Timothy Hughes. Constable Hughes conducted a routine check in relation to the registration of the motorcycle and the check revealed that the registered owner, Mr McNamara, was at the time unlicensed. Having pulled Mr McNamara over, Constable Hughes established that Mr McNamara, the registered owner, was indeed the rider of the motorcycle and so he issued Mr McNamara with an expiation notice for an offence of riding a motorcycle without a licence. The total amount payable by virtue of the expiation notice was $292. When Constable Hughes pulled Mr McNamara over it appeared to him that Mr McNamara had in fact arrived at his intended destination. Constable Hughes therefore believed that there was no question of Mr McNamara continuing to ride the motorcycle so he merely warned him not to ride the motorcycle until he had renewed his licence. Constable Hughes would that same afternoon again detect Mr McNamara riding his motorcycle, this time in the vicinity of the Elizabeth City Centre, and it was this that gave rise to the fatal pursuit

  4. forgetisaidanything
  5. 1.8. Notwithstanding the warning Constable Hughes had given him at Brahma Lodge, Mr McNamara rode his motorcycle home to his premises at Paralowie. I emphasise here that the address that is recorded in motor vehicle registration details for Mr McNamara was the address at which he then currently resided. The address as depicted on Constable Hughes’ expiation notice was that same address. I mention all of this because there can be no suggestion that at the time of these events there was any reason to doubt the authenticity of Mr McNamara’s identity or the ownership of the motorcycle or to doubt the genuineness of Mr McNamara’s stated place of residence.

    1.9. According to Ms Maile’s statement, Mr McNamara arrived home at about 1:15pm and told her that he had been pulled over by the police. Ms Maile asserts in her statement which is verified by an affidavit on her oath that Mr McNamara that afternoon tried to renew his licence over the telephone but was told that he had to appear in person in order to do so. She states that he therefore set off to renew his licence at the Elizabeth City Centre Motor Registration office. I accept that evidence and find that when Mr McNamara was later located by Constable Hughes riding the same motorcycle in the vicinity of the Elizabeth City Centre, Mr McNamara’s intention was to travel to the Motor Registration office and renew his licence.

    1.10. Constable Hughes was by then driving an unmarked police Commodore sedan which was fitted with lights and siren. He had only recently collected it from a repairer in Elizabeth. He was still on solo duty when at approximately 2pm he saw the motorcycle that he had earlier pulled over at Brahma Lodge now being ridden on Elizabeth Way. Constable Hughes signified to the rider to pull over and did so by way of lights and a short application of the siren. Notwithstanding his obligation to comply with this direction, Mr McNamara failed to oblige. In doing so he committed another offence. In fact he rode away from Constable Hughes’ vehicle in an obvious attempt to avoid police intervention and did so at speeds that exceeded the various limits for the roads involved, thereby committing further offences. Constable Hughes pursued the motorcycle and in doing so also exceeded the speed limit. After a relatively short pursuit Mr McNamara lost control of his motorcycle and sustained the injuries that caused his death. Mr McNamara’s failure to stop when requested to do so, and the subsequent pursuit, gives rise to the suggestion that this was a death in
    custody as defined in the Coroners Act 2003. Accordingly, it was considered mandatory for an Inquest to take place in respect of Mr McNamara’s death. Quite apart from that, it was in any case considered necessary and desirable for an Inquest to be held into his death.

    1.11. The circumstances and manner in which it is appropriate for police to conduct pursuits of vehicles that fail to stop when directed to do so have over the years been controlled by various manifestations of Police General Orders that relate to the subject. Pursuits of this nature very often also involve a question as to the legality of the manner of driving exhibited on the part of the pursuing police officer. In this Inquest I examined the issue as to whether in all of the circumstances it had been appropriate for Mr McNamara to have been pursued after he had failed to stop and whether any of the actions of the pursuing officer had contributed to Mr McNamara’s death. I add here that after these events Constable Hughes, who is now a police officer with Western Australia Police, was found guilty by the Elizabeth Magistrates Court of driving in a manner dangerous to the public in respect of his own driving behaviour at one stage of the pursuit. While this Court is precluded from making any finding or suggestion of criminal liability, it was nevertheless an intrinsic part of my inquiry to examine such issues as the speed of the vehicle in which the officer was conducting the pursuit and the manner of its being driven when regard is had to the applicable speed limits and traffic conditions.

    That's all for now, there's a lot to get through.
  6. WOW, I cant believe that the copper was actually fined for dangerous driving chasing that bike,

    It wont happen here in Vic,
  7. This should be an interesting thread, thanks chef.

    From what you have posted so far it really comes down to two decision. The decision to run and the decision to chase.

    You have to wonder why someone who knows their identity and address is known by police would run. He knew the penalty he faced was not that severe. I think it would be obvious to anyone that the penalty for running from police is a lot greater. What could he possibly hope to achieve besides a far bigger penalty?

    The same deal also applies to the officer. He knew why the offender was running. He knew that if he let him go he would be able to catch up with him. He should have all the evidence he needs on his car camera to show that a) he was riding again without license and b) he evaded arrest. The risk on the rider would be great.

    The runner decided to put his own life at risk for very little perceivable gain, but the officer is a professional and should maintain a standard that does not unnecessarily expose a high risk to human life.

    The officer has to make a decision in this situation as to whether there is a likelihood that the offender is committing a more serious crime, will they be unable to track down the offender and is it worth the risk and in this case from the evidence so far presented you would have to say no to all 3.
  8. The poor bugger doesn't look, smell or have any hallmarks of being a criminal.

    For whatever reason he failed to renew his license and was checked and got done for having a lapsed license. Poor bugger cops a fine. Any reason for the cop checking the rider out in the first instance?

    So riderX goes home and tries to pay the renewal from home, but wasn't able to - he has to do it in person. Why?

    So he jumps on his bike again and makes his (illegal) way back to licensing place to pay, but on the way gets spotted by the same copper. The copper gives the lights and sirens a blurt and riderX does a runner.

    Does that cover the summary up to this point?
  9. My pleasure mate. It's going to be a long slog but trust me it gets more interesting so hang in there.

    Yep, that's accurate.

    2. The relevant roads and traffic features

    2.1. The relevant features of the scene are depicted below in Google earth imagery.


    2.2. As seen earlier, Mr McNamara travelled to the Elizabeth City Centre in order to renew his licence in person. He was on the Elizabeth Way when his motorcycle was identified by Constable Hughes as the one he had pulled over earlier. The time was about 2pm. Mr McNamara was seen to execute a U-turn on Elizabeth Way and then proceed towards its junction with Oxenham Drive. Oxenham Drive divides the shopping complex from its large ground level open car park. The thoroughfare serves a number of purposes. It provides vehicular access to the car park. It provides pedestrian access to the car park as well as to the shopping complex itself. There is a bus interchange that comprises a number of bus stops on the northern footpath. There is a taxi rank on Oxenham Drive. The large shopping complex comprises stores, supermarkets and government and business offices. The large car park that is accessible from Oxenham Drive at a number of points is situated on the northern side
    of Oxenham Drive. On the southern side of Oxenham Drive is the complex itself. The carriageway of Oxenham Drive consists of one lane for each direction of travel. At some point along its length it has a pedestrian crossing that serves the purpose of connecting pedestrians coming from the bus interchange and car park with the complex. That said, there is no impediment to pedestrians crossing Oxenham Drive at other points along its length.

    2.3. The Elizabeth Magistrates Court is situated at the eastern end of Oxenham Drive on its northern side. At that point Oxenham Drive in effect becomes Frobisher Road. Traffic travelling along Oxenham Drive in an easterly direction would execute a left-hand turn of approximately 90 degrees to turn into Frobisher Road. Frobisher Road then runs north past the Court complex and the adjacent police station and then terminates at its junction with Elizabeth Way. A vehicle may execute a left hand turn into Elizabeth Way via a slip lane. One then proceeds in a westerly direction on
    Elizabeth Way.

    2.4. The speed limit for Oxenham Drive is and was 20 kilometres per hour. I conducted a view of the Oxenham Drive vicinity. The evidence and the view confirms the fact that the speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour is an appropriate and unsurprising one, particularly having regard to both vehicular and pedestrian traffic that utilises Oxenham Drive and its environs.

    2.5. The speed limit along Frobisher Road is 50 kilometres per hour.

    2.6. The route taken by Mr McNamara from the moment he was directed to pull over on Oxenham Drive to the location at which he collided with the road sign was as follows: east along Oxenham Drive, turned left and proceeded north along Frobisher Road and then turned left and proceeded west along Elizabeth Way, a total distance of about 655 metres.

    3. Urgent duty driving

    3.1. In November 2005 there was in operation a SAPOL General Order entitled ‘Operational Safety - Urgent Duty facets of police operational behaviour. Compliance with General Orders is mandatory. The General Order that was applicable at the time, and which has since been superseded by other versions, addresses the subject of what is described in the document as ‘Urgent Duty Driving’ conducted by SAPOL officers in the course of their official duties. It describes policy and procedure for police officers driving vehicles in a manner that might otherwise have breached the Australian Road Rules but for the statutory exemption that relates to the use of police vehicles.

    The General Order also governs police driving behaviour that might subject the public to risk irrespective of whether the driving would breach the Australian Road Rules but for the exemption. The purport of the document, and later versions of it, is to identify if not delimit the circumstances in which police officers should engage in urgent duty driving7 and in which they might legitimately invoke the exemption provided in Rule 305 of the Australian Road Rules.

    I add here that the exemption as it existed in Rule 305 of the Australian Road Rules was a limited exemption. For instance, it did not exempt police officers from compliance with the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (SA) which includes the offence of driving in a manner dangerous to the public contained in Section 46 of the Road Traffic Act and driving without due care which is in Section 45 of the Road Traffic Act. Road Traffic Act Section 110AAAA, which was enacted after these events, also provides police with certain exemptions to the operation of the provisions of the Road Traffic Act, but it too does not exempt compliance with sections 46 and 45 of the Act.

    Therefore, the prohibitions on dangerous and careless driving as contained in the Road Traffic Act applied then, and still apply now, to police even in the execution of their duties. It will also be noted that although the General Order refers to the Australian Road Rules and to the exemption provided in Rule 305, the document does not in any way purport to authorise police to drive in a manner that is dangerous to the public or to drive without due care and, as a matter of law, nor could it.

    3.2. The General Order begins as follows:
    'Operational safety - urgent duty driving
    When you use the exemption provided in rule 305 of the Australian Road Rules in responding to taskings or driving in a manner which, when compared with normal risks, substantially increases the risk of injury to police, the public or suspects, or of damage to property, the driving will be considered urgent duty driving.

    In all urgent duty driving situations SAPOL's operational safety philosophy and principles must be applied. Safety must be the primary concern ahead of capture. Urgent duty driving is an area of great potential risk for loss of life, injury or damage to property. In all urgent duty driving situations:

    • the urgent duty driving should not be disproportionate to the circumstances
    • risk must be continually assessed in terms of the potential danger to all and the risk of damage to property
    • police have a duty of care not to endanger other road users and must exercise an extreme level of awareness and caution
    • supervisors must exercise effective command and control
    • occupational health, safety and welfare requirements are to be met
    • the driver of the vehicle must be responsible for their actions
    • the senior member may be held accountable for the actions of the driver
    •you should consider helicopter assistance as the preferred option.'​

    It will be seen that this part of the document in essence provides a definition of urgent duty driving. Unlike later versions of this General Order, the document does not distinguish between urgent duty driving and pursuits. In fact, under this version of the General Order, urgent duty driving encompassed pursuits as a species of urgent duty driving.

    Reformatting this stuff is a headache.
  10. So far its all about the law, especially as it relates to "urgent duty driving". Interesting reading to this point.

    I bet this winds down to why McNamara ran rather than face the officer and explain why he is still riding unlicensed (to go to the registry to renew his license).

    And perhaps this is the outcome - the laws are generally unknown to the masses and, when faced with a possibly oppressive and aggressive police officer, flight is seen as the best option rather than fight.

    Edit: removed my comment about legal expenses.
  11. There is one significant detail that was missed. On the second intercept the officer in question was driving a different vehicle. The second one being 'unmarked' and no description available about the first vehicle. My assumption is it was marked or there wouldn't be the need to make the distinction in the following. It's also reasonable to assume the car wouldn't have required changing partially through a shift if he was already driving an 'unmarked'.

    It's possible the deceased thought he was about to have a second altercation with a different officer. Either way there is no mention about the possible charges for being detected committing the same offense twice.

    Hold that thought, we'll come back to it.

  12. Cheffie:

    At approximately midday on 16 November 2005, which was a Wednesday, Mr --------- was stopped on Main North Road, Brahma Lodge by a solo uniformed police patrol manned by Constable Timothy Hughes. Constable Hughes conducted a routine check in relation to the registration of the motorcycle and the check revealed that the registered owner, Mr ----------, was at the time unlicensed.

    I think the copper was a motorcycle cop based on the word "solo". Uniformed cops don't roam the streets alone, or drive the streets alone unless they're on a solo. For whatever reason he arranged to pick up an unmarked car in the meantime and detected the bike and rider again.
  13. Yeah i thought the same thing too bro, but the Coroner goes on to use the term 'solo' in the context of a single officer while discussing a duel patrol later in the report which makes it unclear if the Constable Hughes was on a bike during the first intercept. When i come across it again I'll highlight it.

    The fact that the officer was in two different vehicles in each intercept is pertinent to the deceased believing his identity was unknown in the second intercept.

    3.3. The General Order goes on to state under the heading ‘Policy’: 'Urgent duty driving may only be undertaken:
    • in response to an emergency involving obvious danger to human life or
    • when the seriousness of the crime warrants it.
    In all cases the known reasons for the urgent duty driving must justify the risk involved.'

    Having regard to the fact that pursuits are encompassed within urgent duty driving, it would appear that where the manner of driving during a pursuit would require the invocation of the Rule 305 exemption, or where police drive in a manner which when compared with normal risks substantially increases the risk of injury or damage, in either case such driving would only be regarded as complying with the General Order where an emergency of the kind described under the heading ‘Policy’ was in existence or the seriousness of a crime that the officer is endeavouring to investigate, prevent or apprehend the perpetrator thereof would warrant it. It will readily be seen, therefore, that justifying Constable Hughes’ pursuit of Mr McNamara in respect of a suspected ‘drive without a licence’, an offence that presented no intrinsic danger or embarrassment to the public and where relatively little was at stake, would have its manifest difficulties.

    3.4. The General Order also sets out the factors that must be considered in relation to the institution and continuation of urgent duty driving. This section is set out as follows: 'Considerations for institution / continuation
    Before commencing and while engaged in urgent duty driving the senior member and the driver must consider:
    • the seriousness of the emergency or crime
    • the degree of risk to the lives or property of police, the public or the suspect/s
    • whether the driver holds the appropriate driving permit
    • whether immediate apprehension is necessary (if in pursuit)
    • the availability of other police assistance
    • the capability and type of police vehicle or forthcoming assistance
    • the practicability of using other stopping devices such as road spikes
    • environmental and climatic conditions
    • police driver competence and local knowledge.
    If the urgent duty driving involves a pursuit it must be terminated when:
    • the necessity to immediately apprehend is outweighed by obvious dangers to police, the public or the suspects if the pursuit is continued or
    • the apprehension can be safely effected later (e.g. the identity of the owner / occupants of the vehicle is known)
    • instructed by the supervisor/shift manager, State Duty Officer / Communications Senior Sergeant or nominee.
    Supervisors/ shift managers should consider all factors including driver ability, history and experience generally in deciding whether to allow the urgent duty driving to continue.

    If the urgent duty driving involves an emergency response it must be terminated when the necessity to attend urgently is outweighed by obvious dangers to police or the public.'

    It will be noted that the duties of a police officer under the above section regarding the termination of a pursuit are quite specific and are premised on the need for immediate apprehension of the pursued offender. If the need for immediate apprehension is either outweighed by the obvious dangers posed by continuation of a pursuit, or the apprehension can be safely effected later, say because the identity of the person is known, the pursuit has to be terminated under this version of the General Order. As a matter of common sense there would be no reason to confine the operation of this stipulation to the termination of pursuits. If the need for immediate apprehension was negatived at the outset by the circumstances described, it is difficult to see how the commencement of a pursuit could be justified either.

    3.5. The word ‘terminate’ as used in the General Order to describe the cessation of urgent duty driving is explained. To terminate involves: 'Immediately slowing the police vehicle and complying with the area speed limit and other traffic requirements, turning off all emergency warning equipment, and resuming patrol.'

    The emergency warning equipment of which this paragraph speaks would naturally include lights and siren. One can readily understand why this should be a requirement when termination is effected. It gives some notice to the pursued motorist that he or she is no longer being pursued, in the hope that the motorist’s driving behaviour will be modified for the better. I add here that the amended version of the General Order that came into effect on 1 January 2006, for the first time contained a requirement that upon the termination of a pursuit the pursuing officer must immediately stop the police vehicle in a safe manner and in a safe location. This was a clear improvement.

    3.6. The General Order in operation in November 2005 also obligated the officer, when commencing urgent duty driving that involved a pursuit, to notify the Communications Centre or base radio of the following matters:
    'Communications centre / base radio notification

    When you engage in urgent duty driving involving a pursuit you must notify the Communications Centre or base radio of the following:
    • initial reason for pursuit
    • traffic and road conditions
    • suspect vehicle's details
    • that all of your vehicle's warning equipment has been activated
    • the progress of the incident, speeds involved and manner of driving of the suspect vehicle
    • type of police vehicle involved and, if a solo patrol, the need to be replaced as soon
    as possible by a two member crew in a marked police vehicle.'​

    It will be noted here that the first dot point for consideration is the initial reason for the pursuit which is obviously a relevant factor in determining whether a pursuit is appropriate or not. Indeed, to my mind it is the major governing circumstance to be taken into consideration in commencing a pursuit. This is reflected in the fact that the document as a whole, and later versions of it, repeatedly emphasise the importance of the seriousness of the emergency or the crime under investigation as a factor that might justify urgent duty driving.

    3.7. The General Order goes on to state specifically that ‘unmarked police vehicles should not be engaged in any urgent duty driving situations unless exceptional circumstances exist’. Constable Hughes’ vehicle was an unmarked police vehicle and so the prohibition at first blush applied to him. However, although I heard neither evidence nor argument on the issue, it is conceivable that an unmarked vehicle being fitted with lights and siren might either be regarded as a marked vehicle or provide an exceptional circumstance of the kind envisaged, especially where a pursuit might otherwise be justified by the nature of the emergency.

    In my view, Constable Hughes’ decision to pursue ought not be criticised merely on the basis that the vehicle was unmarked when it is clear that he utilised its lights and siren. The fact that it was a police vehicle must have been obvious to everyone including Mr McNamara himself. That said, as will be seen, there were other facets of Constable Hughes’ driving that brought its appropriateness into question when regard is had to the General Order as a whole.

    This highlighted part is interesting because it shows ambiguous terminology such as 'unmarked' could be construed to mean different things. Ambiguous terminology when issuing a General Order would be a bad thing I would of thought. Particularly if an officer is going to have to defend him/herself based on the wording and the interpretation.
  14. Obviously all bets are off once the lawyers step in, but in dictionary or common usage, a light or siren is not a marking.
  15. I don't know about SA but here in Qld, they have a fleet of unlikely vehicles that have lights and sirens, but when those are not in use, you'd have to look pretty close to realise it was a police car.
  16. I know this discussion is intended to be about the behavior of the copper, but I really want to understand what makes someone run like this.

    Surely the best outcome from running (unless you plan on skipping the country) is a knock on your door pretty soon after you get home, being issued with the original infringement, plus being arrested and facing possible imprisonment for evading arrest, and a whole bunch of other traffic offences.

    While the only outcome from stopping is the infringement.

    There can't be any percievable benifit from running. I know that in the heat of the moment you can make poor decisions, but still I don't get it. Unless you're on a stolen bike they are going to know who you are.

    Do the police need to highlight cases where a perpatrator has run, still got caught and faced far worse penalties because of it?
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Yeah it's a strange semantic the coroner is making. Effectively he's saying that the car could be construed as 'unmarked' until such time as the lights and sirens are activated, upon which it becomes marked. Now you see it, now you don't.

    I think the comment was to show he had considered it and dismissed it, rather than attempt to delve into it further.

    You're right, that subject is a side issue to this thread which is focusing on the responsibility that comes with the practice of police pursuits. There's been a lot of discussion on the topic recently and looking at a coroner's report, as opposed to getting the usual biased self reporting might be very illuminating.

    I don't think we'll ever understand all of the factors involved in somebody deciding to run. What we do know is that there will always be people who will do it for whatever their reasons are at the time.

    However, while it's not important to know why a person chooses to run, what is pertinent to this discussion is the reason why the officer decided to intercept the rider in the first place.
  18. Ever been past a cop car going the other way over the limit? They all have radar on board now.

    There's no way they can identify you from the front, so you do a quick calculation about how long it will take the copper to turn around, where you are & how much you were over the limit when they went past, & what you've got lose either way.

    It's an interesting mental exercise & I believe only a small step across to the other side.

    I always choose the stopping option myself.

    That's all we hear about. There are no stats on how many get away.
  19. I'm curious to know how many people are interested in this thread and are following it.

    Please give me a nod here to give me an indication. Cheers.

    That's two posts on the subject now and both are off topic.

    It's a side issue so please start a side thread if anybody wishes to continue the discussion. Thanks.

    3.8. As far as procedure following urgent duty driving involving a pursuit is concerned, if the pursued vehicle is not stopped or the pursuit is terminated, the General Order stipulates that the supervisor must ensure follow-up enquiries are conducted including the following:
    • 'fingerprinting vehicles once located
    • obtaining witness statements, where appropriate
    • attending the home address of the registered owner of the pursued vehicle
    • allocating the investigation with accountability
    • submitting an ancillary report.'​
    The inclusion of this section is in pointed recognition of the ability that police have to investigate crime by using means that would not involve an immediate apprehension of an offender following a pursuit. In particular, this part of the General Order makes specific reference to the ability of police to attend the home address of the registered owner of the pursued vehicle. It will also be seen that at the time with which this Inquest was concerned there were powers residing in police, quite independently of this General Order, to compel members of the public to divulge information about the identity of the driver of a motor vehicle on a particular occasion.

    3.9. Finally, it would be appropriate to mention that this version of the General Order, by way of contrast to later versions, specifically deals with urgent duty driving conducted by the rider of a police motorcycle. I set out the relevant part of the General Order as follows:

    'Police motorcycles involved in urgent duty driving should be replaced, wherever practicable, by a car fitted with emergency equipment and markings. The State Duty Officer/LSA commander or Communications Senior Sergeant or nominee is responsible for withdrawing a motorcycle from an urgent duty driving situation.'

    There is no explanation within the document as to why a pursuing motorcycle, be it itself fitted with lights and siren or not, should be replaced with a marked car with the same equipment, but the clause may well reflect the fact that a pursuing police motorcyclist is at greater risk of mishap and serious injury than the driver of a police car. This would then beg the question as to why the same considerations ought not apply to the pursued motorcyclist. The General Order does not distinguish the types of vehicles pursued or otherwise recognise that there may be special considerations applicable to different types of pursued vehicles.

    I've highlighted some food for thought.
    • Like Like x 32
  20. It makes a little more sense if coroner takes "unmarked" to mean "undercover". An unmarked cop car with concealed lights & sirens going is still unmarked, but not (at that moment) undercover.

    For some Australians, a second fine and fear of license suspension is a threat to livelihood, housing, relationship… reason enough to run.
    Individuals will always make decisions for their own reasons: rational, quirky or bat-shït crazy.

    This is why police have policies, so individuals in uniform will make rational decisions. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Hence this thread.