A group of motorcyclists have admitted careless driving after speeding towards a Highland village while travelling on the NC500 route.
Police officers were setting up for static speed checks at Navidale on the A9 when they heard loud engine noises approaching.
Three white KTMs and a silver Aprilia then accelerated down the hill towards the village of Helmsdale, travelling at speeds the officers judged to be in excess of the limit.
Tourists Craig Scott, 29, James Scott, 28, Alexander Horky, 25, and David Watkins, 38, each admitted a charge of careless driving in relation to the incident on July 6 last year.
‘Loud engine noise’
None of the men were present in court today but fiscal depute Naomi Duffy-Welsh described how police officers in an unmarked vehicle had been setting up speed checks on the A9 when their attention was drawn by “loud engine noise”.
Ms Duffy-Welsh said: “They looked to their right and observed four motorcycles travelling past their vehicle, down into the village of Helmsdale.”
She explained that the motorcycles were “seen to accelerate” adding: “Due to noise it seems that they were applying harsh acceleration downhill into a built-up area.”
Ms Duffy-Welsh said the men had been holidaying in the north of Scotland, using Inverness as a base, and were taking day trips out on their motorcycles.
The court heard that officers had been unable to log the riders’ speeds with their detection equipment, but due to their experience were able to judge that all of the bikes were travelling in excess of the speed limit.
Convoy may have amplified engine noise
Defence solicitor Graham Mann said that while the men admitted they may have been going faster than allowed, the fact that they were travelling in convoy may have led to the noise of their engines being exaggerated or amplified.
He said that Craig Scott, of Kingsnorth Road, Carlisle, James Scott, of The Avenue, Coventry, and Alexander Horky of Ash Bank, Wetheral, all had clean driving licences.
David Watkins, of Gainsborough Way, Daventry, had “a bit of a driving record”.
Sheriff Gary Aitken handed down fines of £440 each to Craig Scott, James Scott and Horky as well as giving each man four penalty points.
He deferred sentence on Watkins to January 18.