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..IN THE NEWS...IN THE NEWS


SUNDERLAND CABBIE SPARED BAN AFTER BLAMING HIS CRUISE CONTROL FOR HIS FOURTH SPEEDING OFFENCE


A Sunderland taxi driver has escaped a ban - after blaming his cruise control for his fourth speeding offence in less than two years. The Sunderland Echo reports that Alan Turner, 58, denied deliberately driving over the limit on Washington's Parkway. He persuaded Magistrates in South Tyne- side that he was not a serial speeder but had instead underestimated the auto- mated speed setting in his year-old motor. The driver for Sunderland City Council school contracts faced disqualification under the 12 points totting up process – but claimed a ban would bring exceptional hardship. He was caught doing 36mph on the 30mph stretch, next to Barrington Drive and Fatfield Road, on Tuesday, February 25. He also drove above the speed limit on the A19 twice in the early hours of Decem- ber 8, 2018, and on another road on July 15


last year, getting three penalty points for each offence. Turner told the court losing his licence would impact on three autistic children he helps ferry to school for the council. He said it would also adversely affect his carer wife’s work shifts and his job. Magistrates imposed a further three points for his latest offence – making him liable to


a ban. But Robert McDonald, chair of the bench, told him: “We are going to accept exceptional hardship on this occasion. “We believe the impact on the children, particularly the autistic children you take to school, would be significant. Whatever the cruise control is telling you, I would set it a few miles below.” Turner, who pleaded guilty to speeding and defended himself in court, said: “I’m not a serial speeder. This one was an acci- dent. I know the camera van is on that road and I know what the speed is on that road. “I’ve started using cruise control, and I started driving this car about a year ago. I put the cruise control on, and I went up a bank, and down, and then the camera van was there. It was on cruise control, which I thought would take the speed down, but it went up to 36mph. I’ve learnt my lesson.” Turner was fined £61 and must pay £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.


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NOVEMBER 2020 25


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