BOY racers are one thing – fully grown-up racers something else altogether. At least young bikers have youth and ignorance on their side. Men in their 30s and 40s do not have that excuse. The five bikers who raced through North Yorkshire displayed recklessness towards themselves and others – and one of their number died as a consequence.

The remaining four were cleared of causing the death of their friend. Nevertheless, they got off comparatively lightly in court after being given suspended jail sentences for dangerous driving.

Judge Stephen Ashurst summed up this tragic case perfectly when he said to the defendants: “All four of you were old enough to know better.” He was right, too, to suggest “a degree of arrogance” in the men’s behaviour.

North Yorkshire’s roads have a sometimes fatal attraction to bikers and police are correct to insist that dangerous riding will not be tolerated.

Never forget, too, that behind the public court case following the now-infamous ride lies a personal tragedy. A man with family and friends died after indulging in a group display of mobile madness. With a bit less haste, he would still be here.