WATCH: Stevenage motorist banned from driving after being provoked by bikers on A1(M) as footage shows them doing wheelies and reaching speeds of 140mph
- Credit: Archant
A Stevenage motorist who was provoked by a group of bikers – some who were filmed doing wheelies and reaching speeds of more than 140mph – has been banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £2,700.
Alistair Turner, of Raleigh Crescent, was found guilty of dangerous driving on Tuesday after onboard video footage discarded by one motorcyclist in Hatfield Tunnel showed him performing several dangerous overtakes and undertakes on the hard shoulder in his silver Mercedes.
Officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit believe the 50-year-old was trying to intimidate the bikers, who they stopped on April 13, 2014, after reports from the public of them riding dangerously on the motorway.
The footage recovered by police – which captures the bikers’ journey from Go Outdoors car park in Bedford, along the A421 and then south on the A1(M) before being stopped at Hatfield – was given to the not-for-profit company Road Safety Support whose experts analysed it to provide submittable evidence for a prosecution.
Today at St Albans Crown Court the six motorcyclists – who hail from Bedford, Kimpton, Turvey and Blackpool – received driving bans totalling more than 10 years and have been ordered to pay £500 in costs each after pleading guilty to dangerous driving offences at previous hearings.
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Matthew Langley, 37, of Marston Mortaine, Bedford, was disqualified for three years; Malik Blackburn, 31, of Corfe Road, Bedford, was disqualified for two years; Axel Jones, 25, of Bedford Road, Turvey, was disqualified for 18 months; Matthew James, 29, of Princess Street, Bedford, was disqualified for 18 months; Jonathan Wartnaby, 32, of Springfield Avenue, Kempston, was disqualified for 18 months, and Kevin Saunders, 29, of Withnell Road, Blackpool, was disqualified for 12 months.
PC Damian Bevan, from the road policing unit, said: “The defendants acted with a group mentality, presumably trying to impress each other with their outrageous and extremely dangerous antics.
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“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.”