A “reckless” biker who filmed himself dodging in and out of traffic and jumping red lights during a mass ride out has been jailed.
Kamal Richards, 24, clocked up more than 30 motoring offences – including speeding and riding the wrong way around roundabouts – during the 60 minute incident across south London on New Year’s Day, 2016.
Police say that Richards could have killed himself or other road users at least four times during the ride out, alongside dozens of other bikers.
‘Heart in the mouth material’
Dramatic footage taken by Richards (described by the Judge as “heart in the mouth material”) shows dozens of riders, some on quad bikes, performing wheelies and other stunts as they weave in and out of traffic in wet weather.
Richards – of Dulwich, south east London – was snared after uploading footage of himself during the ride out to a video sharing platform.
He was jailed for 15 months after pleading guilty to dangerous driving at Croydon Crown Court.
He was also disqualified from driving for 31 months, and will be required to complete an extended test to regain his licence.
The bikers set off from Croydon at 2pm that day and completed a circuit through Purley, Coulsdon via Reigate Hill, and back to Croydon.
Richards, who was riding a black Honda motorbike, filmed it using a camera mounted on his helmet.
The resulting footage showed him committing multiple offences, including contravening several red lights, and riding on the offside of keep left signs – clearly marked by central reservations – deliberately obstruction of the highway.
Sentencing Richards, Judge Elizabeth Smaller told him, “You took part and committed an offence of dangerous driving in a ride out.
“I have seen the lowlights of it – wrong way round roundabouts, on the wrong side of the road, total disregard for other traffic in their rightful lane, sometimes wholly on the wrong side of the road, more than once travelled down the wrong side of the road at parts separated by central reservation, wrong way down a tunnel as other cars were entering. It is heart in the mouth material.”
The video included footage of Richards riding on the offside carriageway separated by a solid divider through a tunnel, against oncoming traffic. Three cars were waiting to enter the tunnel from the correct direction.
Police said that if the approaching vehicles hadn’t reacted positively, a head on collision would have been likely due to the restricted space available in the tunnel.
‘Driving in this manner will not be tolerated’
Richards was arrested in January last year and charged with four offences of driving a motor vehicle dangerously.
Sergeant Elizabeth Hockley, of the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said, “Richards’ extremely dangerous driving could have easily resulted in serious injury or even death of himself or other road users.
“Even considering the time that has elapsed, this sentence must have some element of deterrence for those recording and posting this type of behaviour on social media.
“I also hope it sends out a strong message to others that driving in this manner will not be tolerated on London’s roads.”
Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance, Policing and On-Street at Transport for London, commented, “We welcome this sentencing and will continue to take these offences seriously and push for the strongest sentences possible.”