Ban and fine for rider who argued 156mph wasn’t dangerous

A motorcyclist has been banned from driving after arguing unsuccessfully that speeding at 156mph did not constitute dangerous driving.

Peter Clarke, 44, was filmed at the high speed on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 on the A1M in Cambridgeshire last year by an officer on an unmarked Honda Fireblade. Clarke was followed for eight minutes and was also seen undertaking other vehicles.

Clarke, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, argued at Peterborough Crown Court that he was an experienced rider in total control at all times of a motorcycle made for high speeds. 

But the court disagreed and convicted him of dangerous driving. He was banned for 18 months and fined £1000 with a further £1000 costs after a jury found him guilty by a majority of 11 to one. 

Miss Recorder McAllister described Clarke’s behaviour on the northbound A1M between Alconbury and Sawtry as “reckless driving threatening others”.

PC Francis Crawford, the officer who followed Clarke on the unmarked Fireblade, said it was the second highest speed ever recorded by police equipment, after another motorcyclist recently caught at 158mph.

He said: “Peter Clarke was riding a GSX-R1000 which he had owned for three days. He admitted riding at the speeds given by the police but considered himself safe and competent and cannot see how it was dangerous. 

“We’re pleased with the result as it demonstrates that we will not tolerate any motorist travelling at grossly excessive speeds.

“We’ve had the Fireblade for three years and have other unmarked bikes at Cambridgeshire Constabulary.”

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Steve Farrell

By Steve Farrell