Police have described a motorcycle speeding at over 160mph on country roads as "absolute madness".

Video of the speeding bike, captured by a companion, shows the man travelling at more than four times the local speed limit before colliding with two other vehicles – which resulted in his death.

Devon and Cornwall Police released the video as a warning to motorcyclists of the dangers of travelling at such high speeds. As well as breaking the law, police said, such behaviour puts other road users at risk – as well motorcyclists themselves.

The video shows the rider zigzagging between traffic on the A30 near Hayle, deep in the Cornish countryside.

The man who filmed the incident from his own motorbike was convicted of dangerous driving at Truro Crown Court in 2009. Devon and Cornwall Police’s Driver Training Unit tweeted the footage with the text “Absolute madness on a Motorcycle 170mph on Cornish roads and yes one crashes."

Along with a 51-week sentence suspended for two years, the rider was banned from driving for three years.

"No time to react"

Supt Tim Swarbrick said at the time he believed that this was the fastest speed ever recorded in Devon and Cornwall:

"Watching this video was not pleasant viewing and the subsequent incident was a tragedy for everyone, not least the traffic officers who had to attend the collision.

"At that speed, there is just no time to react and what we have seen on the video is truly shocking. The footage shows the bike carrying out dangerous overtaking manoeuvres, contravening white lines and actions which force other motorists to move out of the way.   

"Other drivers being overtaken during this journey made comments that one or both of these motorcyclists may die - sadly this proved to be the case."

The Devon and Cornwall Police website provides a number of reminders to motorcyclists and drivers:

  • When a pedestrian is hit at 40mph they are four times more likely to die than if they are hit at 30mph.
  • Adapt your driving to suit conditions. Take into consideration rain, fog and traffic levels.
  • Even on country roads, it’s never safe to break the speed limit: blind bends, animals on the road and vehicles emerging from junctions are a few of the most common unexpected hazards.