Represented by one of our leading traffic solicitors.
Our client was the driver of a prime mover (truck) along General Holmes Road in Mascot when he was stopped by an RMS (formerly RTA) inspector – his vehicle was examined and the trailer load was detected at a height of 4.437m – it was established that our client had travelled through a sign posted tunnel with a clearance of 4.4m. The inspector issued our client with a penalty notice in the amount of $2052.00 for disobeying a clearance sign.
Our client had been a professional driver for 30 years. One the day of the offence he had covered the same route twice before he was detected passing through on the third occasion with the over height load. He instructed us that it was an oversight on his behalf to properly measure the load.
Charges & potential penalties:
The offence is one contrary to rule 102(1) of the Road Rules 2008 which provides a maximum penalty of a $2200.00 fine and the accrual of 6 demerit points.
Not only was there a significant monetary penalty but our client was concerned that if he was convicted of the offence he could face a suspension period for accrual of demerit points. Based on legal advice given to him by one of our traffic law experts, a court election notice was completed and the matter was determined at court following a plea of guilty being entered.
After persuasive submissions on the objective seriousness of the offence given the nature of the breach and the consequences that would flow to our client if he were convicted of the offence the magistrate exercised leniency and discharged him conditionally upon entering into a bond pursuant to section 10(1)(b) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act. This meant that although he pleaded guilty no monetary penalty was to be imposed instead he was ordered to enter into a good behaviour bond. As a result he had the benefit of section 14(3A) of the Roads Transport (Driver Licensing) Act which provides that the RMS is not to record demerit points against a person in respect of an offence if the court makes an order under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 in respect of the offence.
Why You Need an Expert in Traffic Law:
The rules and regulations that govern our roads are so onerous on a driver generally but they are more so onerous on professional drivers in the trucking industry. Truck drivers often drive a significant number of kilometers and are bound by specific rules and regulations covering amongst other things the roads on which they are permitted to drive and the loads they are permitted to carry. Parliament has sought to compensate this issue by giving them allowance to incur one more demerit point than an ordinary unrestricted driver. The problem of course remains that the offences for which these persons are often charged with carry a significant number of demerit points as was in the case above.
Having an expert in traffic law means your lawyer will be able to identify all the relevant issues that will arise in a case and prepare accordingly to address those matters, whilst appreciating that a licence for a professional driver is undoubtedly a tool of their trade. At Nyman Gibson Miralis, we only handle traffic and criminal law matters. Our solicitors are trained to appear as advocates in courts on a day to day basis. This means you can be sure to get expert advice and have a persuasive advocate appear for you.