'Unbelievably lenient' fine for 148mph M11 motorcyclist with passenger in tow
PUBLISHED: 10:36 02 April 2015
The punishment handed down to a biker caught doing record speeds on the M11 motorway has been slammed as being "unbelievably lenient" by Uttlesford's leading road safety campaigner.
Motorcyclist Paul Roberts was filmed by police weaving in and out of traffic at speeds of up to 148mph – believed to be the highest speed ever recorded in the UK by a rider carrying a pillion passenger.
On Monday Roberts, 43, of Malkin Drive Lane, Harlow, was banned from driving for 15 months.
But the sentencing at Chelmsford Crown Court was criticised by Mike Young, chairman of the Uttlesford Road Safety Working Group, who said “many would have expected the offence to carry a custodial sentence”.
He told the Reporter: “I do think the sentence was unbelievably lenient. This is a very exceptional situation, the likes of which I don’t think we have ever seen before.”
Roberts, who runs a taxi firm in London, was riding to work on his Kawasaki ZZR 1400 with a friend as passenger on Friday, September 12.
He joined the M11 at Hastingwood and was seen and followed by Essex Police motorcyclist Pc Paul Hills who was involved in a motorcycle safety operation on the motorway.
A video camera on Pc Hill’s bike recorded events as Roberts weaved across all three lanes.
Roberts was eventually stopped near Chigwell and later summonsed for dangerous driving.
He admitted the offence at Chelmsford Crown Court and was also ordered to do 120 hours community service, told to take an extended re-test and to pay £460 costs on top of the driving ban handed down.
Sgt Nick Edwards, from the Essex Police Motorcycle Unit, said: “The levels of harm to which Paul Roberts subjected himself, his pillion passenger, the public and my officer are just beyond comprehension.
“These speeds are for race tracks not public roads.”
Sgt Edwards said that Pc Hills and other Essex Police motorcyclists were carrying out a specific operation which was aimed at targeting motorcycle commuters using the M11 in response to complaints that had been received from members of the public.