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Steve Farrell  says:

Bike confiscated for filtering

An MCN reader has told how police gave him a warning under anti-social behaviour laws for filtering - and confiscated his bike the second time round. Reginald Austin, 45, from Liverpool, says he was overtaking slow-moving traffic in Prestatyn, North Wales, when police stopped him and issued a warning under Section 59 Police Reform Act for causing ‘distress or annoyance’. Because...

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  • Posted 6 years ago (29 June 2009 09:54)

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Apr 09

Posts: 99

Sanjuricus says:

Section 59 Police reform Act

Vehicles used in manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance

(1) Where a constable in uniform has reasonable grounds for believing that a motor vehicle is being used on any occasion in a manner which—

(a) contravenes section 3 or 34 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (careless and inconsiderate driving and prohibition of off-road driving), and

(b) is causing, or is likely to cause, alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public,

he shall have the powers set out in subsection (3).

(2) A constable in uniform shall also have the powers set out in subsection (3) where he has reasonable grounds for believing that a motor vehicle has been used on any occasion in a manner falling within subsection (1).

(3) Those powers are—

(a) power, if the motor vehicle is moving, to order the person driving it to stop the vehicle;

(b) power to seize and remove the motor vehicle;

(c) power, for the purposes of exercising a power falling within paragraph (a) or (b), to enter any premises on which he has reasonable grounds for believing the motor vehicle to be;

(d) power to use reasonable force, if necessary, in the exercise of any power conferred by any of paragraphs to (a) to (c).

(4) A constable shall not seize a motor vehicle in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by this section unless—

(a) he has warned the person appearing to him to be the person whose use falls within subsection (1) that he will seize it, if that use continues or is repeated; and

(b) it appears to him that the use has continued or been repeated after the the warning.

(5) Subsection (4) does not require a warning to be given by a constable on any occasion on which he would otherwise have the power to seize a motor vehicle under this section if—

(a) the circumstances make it impracticable for him to give the warning;

(b) the constable has already on that occasion given a warning under that subsection in respect of any use of that motor vehicle or of another motor vehicle by that person or any other person;

(c) the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that such a warning has been given on that occasion otherwise than by him; or

(d) the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that the person whose use of that motor vehicle on that occasion would justify the seizure is a person to whom a warning under that subsection has been given (whether or not by that constable or in respect the same vehicle or the same or a similar use) on a previous occasion in the previous twelve months.

(6) A person who fails to comply with an order under subsection (3)(a) is guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(7) Subsection (3)(c) does not authorise entry into a private dwelling house.

(8) The powers conferred on a constable by this section shall be exercisable only at a time when regulations under section 60 are in force.

(9) In this section—


“driving” has the same meaning as in the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52);

“motor vehicle” means any mechanically propelled vehicle, whether or not it is intended or adapted for use on roads; and

“private dwelling house” does not include any garage or other structure occupied with the dwelling house, or any land appurtenant to the dwelling house.

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Apr 09

Posts: 99

Sanjuricus says:

Section 3 and 34 Road Traffic Act

3. Careless, and inconsiderate, driving

If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road, he is guilty of an offence.

34. Prohibition of driving motor vehicles elsewhere than on roads

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, if without lawful authority a person drives a motor vehicle—

(a) on to or upon any common land, moorland or land of any other description, not being land forming part of a road, or

(b) on any road being a footpath or bridleway,

he is guilty of an offence.

(2) It is not an offence under this section to drive a motor vehicle on any land within fifteen yards of a road, being a road on which a motor vehicle may lawfully be driven, for the purpose only of parking the vehicle on that land.

(3) A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section with respect to a vehicle if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that it was driven in contravention of this section for the purpose of saving life or extinguishing fire or meeting any other like emergency.

(4) It is hereby declared that nothing in this section prejudices the operation of—

(a) section 193 of the [1925 c. 20.] Law of Property Act 1925 (rights of the public over commons and waste lands), or

(b) any byelaws applying to any land,

or affects the law of trespass to land or any right or remedy to which a person may by law be entitled in respect of any such trespass or in particular confers a right to park a vehicle on any land.

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Jan 09

Posts: 278

tsgv says:


not taking the side of the Police but he must have been doing something unlawful to warrant getting his bike siezed.

Im guessing that as he was doing it by a Pedestrian crossing then he could be seen to be putting the lives of the crossers at risk as he must have been in front of the bus to be able to see who was crossing at the time and i think riding along side a bus (even if not over taking) is a little stupid and asking for trouble.

But i could be wrong :(

[This Reply has been modified by the Author]

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May 06

Posts: 28

Nostrils says:

The Police need to clarify to the public what offences are for road users and what offences are for off road users, including those riding off-road stolen bike (a particular pastime for youngster near me).

I notice the first offence was in Wales, I guess that was a given as you only need to cough and get nicked there!  As for the second alleged offence being in Liverpool, adjacent to the Brunstrom area must have meant that Wales enjoyed more revenue with the zero tolerance so Liverpool probably thought about increase their coffers!!

Would be interesting to find out what the Police Officer says in court -

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Nov 07

Posts: 35 a crossing!!!?

Filtering at a pedestrian crossing?

So he was OVERTAKING at a pedestrian crossing. What a total and utter spastic.

Maybe he wasn't listening when the instructors said 'overtaking in the zig-zags...violation, no arguement'.

I filter...but I'm not so thick that I do it when there are zig-zags around.

The arguement that technically he hadn't filtered because he hadn't completed the manouvre doesn't wash. Police car in view? don't filter...

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Captain Hook


Jun 07

Posts: 28

Captain Hook says:


Rule 191

You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines. You MUST NOT overtake the moving vehicle nearest the crossing or the vehicle nearest the crossing which has stopped to give way to pedestrians.

Seems quite clear to me, you can filter pass the queue but not pass the lead vehicle once everything has stopped, if the lights change and everything starts rolling foward again, you have to merge back in because you can't pass a moving vehicle.

Based on the story as told (albeit you might need to take it with a pinch of salt since it is a one sided story), the rider did not break the law of the road.

That means the copper had to do him for driving which may cause alarm, distress or annoyance as per section 1b quoted below by Sanuricus. A beutifully widely worded clause which basically means whatever the copper wants it to mean.

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Feb 05

Posts: 11

Bike Filtering

I seem to remember that it is only an offence if somebody is using or about to use the crossing..Its called failing to Accord precedence....It was in Stones and Archibald if my memory serves me correctly.

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Jul 08

Posts: 10

scotty61 says:

Filtering is legal and you cant overtake at a crossing.

He didnt overtake, he pulled up next to other vehicles at the crossing, just like when a car pulls up next to you..

No offence in my eyes.


Even if it was an offence, they had no right to take his bike if it was taxed insured and MOT'd..tossers!

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Jul 08

Posts: 190

zephyrdave says:


Just out of interest has he got a straight through can on his R1? - I notice that the first S59 offence was for filtering too, is this the 'bullying motorists out the way weaving in and out' type of filtering or the good kind?

I've filtered past police cars, I've never been pulled for it but then I do use common sense and try not to piss people off when I do it. I don't use open pipes either though, well, not till the weekend ;-)

A previous S59 offence makes the copper think you've been caught riding like a twat somewhere before so you don't get the benefit of the doubt the second time round. Not right but that's how it works, we all know that and we play the game accordingly.

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Jun 09

Posts: 57

Kegsie says:


How about this one for fucking stupid: here in Netherlands it's legal to pass traffic on a motorway by filtering through between the lanes.  I kid you not. On the way up to Assen at the weekend it was absolute pandemonium on the roads simply because of that.

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