Thursday, February 19, 2009

How to avoid a driving ban

North Devon is a slow, leisurely sort of place. In fact there isn't a single road where one might legally drive faster than 60mph. That doesn't mean, of course, that people never exceed the speed limit, particularly on the North Devon Link Road, where accidents are all too common. There are speed cameras and regular police patrols along the Link Road and those who step too hard on the gas can expect a 28 day driving ban as well as points on their licence..... or perhaps not, if one can plead mitigating circumstances.

This morning, our local newspaper carried the story of a young business entrepreneur who was caught driving at 92mph on the Link Road. The magistrates were persuaded by his legal team to impose a fine and 6 penalty points instead of a driving ban. Here are the convincing mitigating circumstances:

In his defence, Lawrence Overend argued that if his client were to lose his driving licence, his business and various charitable projects would suffer significant hardship, as would his non-profit, national anti-bullying campaign.

Mr Overend said Fxxxxx estimated he had driven around 36,000 miles in the past year.

He said: "Mr Fxxxxx feels a great degree of shame for being in court.

"He publicly markets himself as a role model for young people— he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, and feels coming before the court undermines this in a way."

He added: "Mr Fxxxxx has several well-known celebrity friends."

The magistrates were won over by these pleas and by the fact that a driving ban would not cause any significant hardship to Mr Fxxxxx because he had enough money (£30-million) to employ a chauffeur. That is a very obvious piece of logic er, isn't it? If you couldexplain that to me in a comment, I would be very grateful. In the meantime, I'm off to find myself some celebrity friends. You never know when you might need one, do you?


  1. Celebrity friends AND money - don't forget to find yourself some money too! (But I'm sure it is easier to stay within the speed limits).

  2. Yes indeed, Margaretha. I had to drive on that difficult road today and twice I had to brake hard because of reckless drivers heading towards me on the wrong side of the road - just so that they could gain a few minutes.

  3. I too saw that article Monix. And if you read further on in the paper under the CourtFile column you'll see an old boss of mine who was done for speeding at the same place as Mr Celebrity.

    He, however, didn't have such a good lawyer or such famous friends and so as well as being fined and given points on his licence, he was banned for 6 months!

  4. We are not exactly all equal before the law, are we Ben? I can't wait to see the letters column in next week's Journal.


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