A Gold Coast rider is refusing to pay a minor fine on principle after the offence was dropped by law days later and his wife was dangerously stranded alone at night by police.
It’s a matter of principle and moral outrage,” says 2016 Kawasaki ZX-10R rider Ryan Cullen.
He was taking his wife, Tiffani, home from work on the back of his bike on a cold July night when he was pulled over by an RBT.
Ryan says the officer was rude and seemed intent on fining him after he passed the RBT check.
“The officer was threatening me that he would fine me for other offences,” he says.
Then the officer realised Ryan had not had his R licence for a year and could not legally carry a pillion.
Days later, the State Government announced that the minor infringement would be dropped from this month. The offence attracted an $81 fine and no demerit points.
That has further inflamed Ryan’s intent on challenging the fine.
But he is also incensed that the officer would not allow him to take his wife home from work.
“I expressed concern that my wife would be left abandoned, alone, on the side of the road at 8.30 on a cold night in a poorly lit street. But they refused to let me take her home,” he says.
“I told them it would take me an hour to return with another vehicle, so they promised someone would be on site doing RBT for the next few hours.
“However, five minutes after I left, the police packed up and left, even though they had given us their word they would be on site.
“There were drug and alcohol-affected people approaching her making intimidating motions and slurred statements. There was also a car full men who stopped, yelled abuse at her and threw things from their vehicle.”
Ryan says his wife was shaken from the experience of being stranded as well as the cold, even though she was wearing warm motorcycle gear.
He is incensed that the police put his wife in such a dangerous situation over such a minor offence.
“We were treated so badly and unprofessionally by the cops,” he says.
Since he was unsatisfied with the way the situation was handled, Ryan wrote a letter of complaint to the police. This was ignored and the infringement sent to the State Penalties and Enforcement Registry (SPER) which collects unpaid fines and court-ordered penalties.
He has now lodged a complaint with SPER.
Unfortunately, there is little chance of the fine being waived.
In a similar situation, a Brisbane rider was fined last year for standing while riding and summonsed to court five months after the law was axed.
He complained on principle and took the matter to court. However, the $280 fine and three demerit points were upheld.
“Surely there should be some sort of amnesty on fines after the government has announced they will remove that law,” Ryan says.
“If a law is going to be repealed, shouldn’t the police back off. But maybe they try to get as many people before it’s gone.“