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Wife stranded after minor bike fine

Ryan Cullen fined for pillion
Ryan and Tiffani

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.

Wife stranded

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. 

Ryan and Tiffani Cullen - Wife stranded after minor bike fine
Ryan and Tiffani Cullen

“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.

Fine precedent

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.“

  1. No taxi’s or Uber operating in that area? No mates enroute? I am sorry to hear about how she was treated though — there are many grubs out there these days.

    I’ve been busted breaking a few traffic/licence-related fines in my time but if you call the tune, you pay the piper. Doesn’t mean you agree with it but you do it because for most folk, I’d argue, we get away with more than we are caught for. Follow it up as a matter of principle if you feel strongly about.

    While I’m on my soapbox, I’ve only met one copper that was out to cause me and my friends trouble. He had ‘a rep for it’. But the vast majority approached me in a neutral manner pending my attitude from that point on.

    I assume this wasn’t the first time he gave his wife a pillion ride?

  2. the fact that the rider was breaking the law still stands , what are you crying about , if the rider had not broken the law in the first place ,his wife would not be left on the street ,,,,,, and i am shore they both had mobile phones ,,,, CALL A CAB

  3. Regardless, a young woman shouldn’t be left alone, stranded in an unknown and potentially dangerous location.

    I’m sure she would have tried to call people and arrange another way home but obviously that didn’t work out. That happens all the time. The police shouldn’t have made promises they didn’t intend to keep and they shouldn’t have endangered this young woman like that.

    It’s especially offensive that they’re out to get this man (or anyone) with a fine, whether or not they were doing it to everyone or just picking on him for being a motorcyclist, police are known to go out of their way to achieve their quotas.

  4. No, wrong, man the F up, boy.
    No matter how you feel the cops treated you and your good lady. You are the twat, that put your Missus, in that position.
    You knew you did not hold a license, valid for carrying a pillion, and you got caught.
    Its twats like you, that clog up the legal system, and for what? Its twats like you, that gets up the goat of the cops, in-turn coming down hard on the rest of us.
    Man up, pay the fine, apologise profusely to the bubble and strife, for leaving her stranded and in an unsafe situation, all because of your own stupidity.

    Come on Mark H, this is hardly news worth stuff, it don’t even cut it into the comic relief section. Maybe a new section “twats corner”

  5. There was a case where a young woman who was drunk on her way home at night and got caught and left with no way home so she drove again and got caught again this time she tried to walk home got abducted and raped . the cops got sued and lost in court because they failed in their duty of care to the public and that young woman by not either locking her up for the night or taking her home.

  6. What he said, except “licence” not “license” (the latter is the verb form). If you were carrying a pillion illegally, then the fault lies entirely with you and nobody else whatsoever. You can’t blame the police for your stupidity. Pay the fine and comply with the law in future.

  7. if the cops had let him take her home and he had a accident
    highly likely that the insurance would not pay up.It puts the
    police in a difficult position. stop whining call a taxi

  8. Here’s an update:
    Queensland Police have a policy that requires them to not leave a person in a vulnerable position while engaging in enforcement action. For example you don’t leave a woman and child on the side of a highway if the car is unregistered, you make arrangements for them to to be transported to a safe location.
    This rider entered into an agreement with the police that was not honoured.

    1. Hi Mark.

      The world of litigation has clearly been overstepped in my opinion.
      The young fella, entered into an agreement, with the conditions of his licence, in which he did not honour.
      Why should the Police, and the public purse be responsible, for the irresponsibility of he.
      Society today all to often, pushes their own responsibilities onto someone else. Butt covering is one thing, the blame game is total BS.

      We could all go back and forth, like what came first, the egg or the chicken. However, in this case, he willingly (the cause of this whole debacle) broke the law, he should man up, cope it on the chin, like the rest of us do, when we get caught, being a little naughty.

      Personally, I’m sick and tired, of the constant do-gooder crap that fills the media. example, the gangs of young fellas and ladies, doing home invasions, and car- jackings. “Its not their fault” said one do-gooder, ” the cause is it is easier to rob people of their cars and household goods than it is to deal with centrelink.” F off, I say.
      They know, in every single moral fibre of their being, that what they are doing is wrong and illegal, as I do when being a little naughty.

      Stop denying responsibility for you actions, grow some gonads.

      Ride free and safe
      Grumpy Old Bastard

      1. Hi Grumpy,
        Let’s get a sense of proportion.
        It was a minor offence. $81 fine. Much less than going 5km/h over the speed limit. Have you ever done that?
        So minor it’s no longer even considered an offence.
        Hardly home invasion or car jacking.

        1. Hi Mark.

          In the spirit of open and frank debate. (Please excuse the copy and paste method of reply).

          “Hi Grumpy,
          Let’s get a sense of proportion.”

          Indeed Mark, let’s.
          If a heavy combination driver, takes on board a dangerous goods load without a dangerous goods endorsement on his/her licence, is that ok? It’s the same physical sized truck and trailer, it’s the same weight, tare and gross, it handles the same!
          Or the medium rigid driver who’s truck is down for the day, takes out the spare Heavy rigid, same dimensions, width, length, height, just an extra axle, same load as he was going to have on his medium rigid, is that ok?
          Or the young fella with a V8, turbo/supercharger/power to weight restriction, who says bugger it I’ve only got 2 weeks till I’m of the restriction. Would this be ok?
          Or myself, not wearing prescription glasses, when ever in control of any vehicle, by putting on a set of sunnies is that ok?
          Some of us, have endorsements and restrictions on our licences, we agree and abide by them for the privilege, of our riding pleasure, mobility or earning a buck.

          “It was a minor offence. $81 fine.”
          Indeed it may well be. Ref to questions and statements above.

          “Much less than going 5km/h over the speed limit. Have you ever done that?”
          Indeed I have, and I don’t get on here or any other forum and belly ache about it, till well after the cows came home. I got caught, I man up, and take it on the chin, pay the fine, cop the demerit point, and don’t go making BS excuses for my inattention or for being, plain naughty.

          “So minor it’s no longer even considered an offence.”
          However, at the time of the offence, this young man, willingly and knowingly rode his motorcycle with a pillion without the pillion endorsement.
          It would be like me claiming that 30 years ago, I got busted doing 110kph in a 100Kph zone, That very same section of road is now 110kph, can I have my demerit point back, the fine back, and the record stricken for my driving record.
          Come on, please.

          “Hardly home invasion or car jacking.”
          Most certainly not, but used as an example of BS excuses, and the lack of taking responsibility for ones actions, and playing the blame game.

          I spoke with colleagues today at length, about this very situation, it went something like this.
          “Hey Grumpy Old Bastard, how would you feel if it was one of your daughters, left stranded out the middle of butt f*#* Idaho?” was, one very good question.
          The answer was delivered swiftly, with a look, a bearing of the teeth (Yes I still have them and they are all real and mine), and a grunt.
          The colleague laughed, and said ” So, son in law, wouldn’t be sitting down for a month of Sundays, then”.

          Grumpy Old Bastard.
          Ride free and safe.

  9. Some nasty comments here! Sure the rider did wrong and he got a ticket for doing so, but the police have a duty of care not to leave a young lady on the side of the road. Their job is not just to hand out tickets – in this situation they should have driven her home. No the police are not a taxi service, but in this situation it’s there duty to do so (and I would have thought common sense).

    A lot of comments about “treat police right and they will treat you right”. Most police are professional and treat you right either way, but a small percentage have a bad attitude no matter how nice you are to them.

  10. I’d like to think that if this happened in Canberra, the Police would do the right thing and give her a lift somewhere safe.

  11. Poor reporting again Motorbike Writer. So someone decided to break the law and got caught.

    The police are not allowed to permit the offender to continue the offence…. because it is an offence! They are also not a taxi service. Maybe they could have transported the wife to the police station (and maybe they offered but this wouldn’t support the evil police story). Or maybe they got called to another job.

    Also doesn’t make sense how she was stranded all alone and yet she was also surrounded by people… how unfortunate that they were all drunk and on drugs. (Really…?)

    As others suggested, how about calling a cab. I’m sure if the guy can afford a new ZX10 they can get a cab. Or maybe don’t break the law.

  12. So you have held your R licence for less than a year and you’re riding a ZX10?
    That’s pretty nuts for a start.
    But, what information did the reporter leave out in order to make the story?

    1. Hi Gilbert,
      It’s not illegal to ride a ZX-10R on an open licence.
      What bike did you buy when you got your open licence?
      Not sure what you are suggesting has been withheld.

  13. The argument isn’t about the fine, really. It’s more about stranding a bystander, who was not at fault, in a dangerous situation. The police was fining him – great, pay the fine. However, the police should have a presence of mind to investigate the situation of the bystander. Sure, the rider is a knuckle head, but he is trying to make a point by challenging the fine – minor or not.

Comments are closed.