A motorcyclist was fined $146 on Monday, Jan 6 for stretching his leg from the footrest while riding. The rider, Jake Sloman, posted a photo of the citation to his Facebook page and it quickly went viral around the world according to the Australian newspaper The Courier Mail.
This recent incident is fresh on the heels of news surfacing that alleged Hells Angels were arrested over the weekend while on holiday in Queensland. Even though none of the arrested were wearing their colors, police took them into custody while they were buying ice creams for their children. (Full story at this link.)
Sloman was riding to work from the Gold Cast along the Logan Motorway in Queensland, Australia.
“You could see it was a cop car in front of me but I didn’t even think of it,” said Sloman. “They were in the right hand lane and pulled over, I’ve gone past them and they pulled back in behind me, pulled me over and basically told me they were booking me for taking feet off a footrest.”
Sloman tried to explain to the police that he was simply stretching his leg; however, he was still hit with the citation and fine.
“I’ve never heard of anyone else being done for taking their leg off for a second… I could understand it if I was riding along with my hands off the handlebars and something ridiculous but having stretch is a bit far.”
When asked if he would contest the fine, he said that the was aware that other riders had that but that he didn't intend to.
“I don’t have the time or money – it would probably cost me more if I do lose,” said Sloman. “The only grounds would be that the date on the fine was wrong, which someone pointed out on Facebook. "Considering the other offenses that were happening on the road though - numerous cars in the right hand lane and not overtaking – I think they were a much worse offense than me taking me my foot off the footrest.”
Rider throughout Australia and beyond have been contacting police commissioner Ian Stewart who is an avid user of Twitter to lodge complaints. Stewart replied to a number of the complaints:
When asked if riders were not allowed to stretch their legs on the highway, Commissioner Stewart replied “of course you are”.
@nathanscholz Nathan of course u r. I do it. It is designed 4 unsafe practise & has been around a long time. Thx 4 asking.
— Ian Stewart (@CoPStewart) January 7, 2014