Any driver involved in a police pursuit can be charged with a serious offence under the Crimes Act. One of the pivotal issues is whether the Driver knew or ought to reasonably know, or have reasonable grounds to suspect that he/she is being pursued and required to stop.
Often a pursuit may commence from a police vehicle being a long way behind. For example, a police vehicle being in hiding and pursuing a speeding motorist who has gone past. If it involves a highway patrol vehicle it is imperative to view the in-car video which can illustrate whether any indication existed from the driver’s actions supporting the police contention or any other relevant matters that might emerge from the video that can assist the preparation of a defence.
CRIMES ACT 1900 – SECT 51B Police pursuits
51B Police pursuits
(1) The driver of a vehicle:
(a) who knows, ought reasonably to know or has reasonable grounds to suspect that police officers are in pursuit of the vehicle and that the driver is required to stop the vehicle, and
(b) who does not stop the vehicle, and
(c) who then drives the vehicle recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to others, is guilty of an offence.
(a) in the case of a first offence-imprisonment for 3 years, or
(b) in the case of an offence on a second or subsequent occasion-imprisonment for 5 years.
(2) In this section, “vehicle” has the same meaning as it has in section 52A.