Tweed Heads Local Court
Tweed Heads Local Court

Reason these banned drivers are back on Tweed roads

A DRIVER who was banned from driving twice, is back on the road.

The Banora Point teenager successfully appealed his second three-month suspension within 12 months of achieving his P-plates.

The 18-year-old appeared by phone in Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday to appeal his suspension that followed when he was caught travelling 102 kmh.

His P-plate restricts him to 90 kmh.

In his written submission to the court, the young driver said his previous three-month demerit point suspension had been a 'wake-up call'.

He claimed the timing of the two suspensions meant he had not had an opportunity to learn from his first suspension before being given the second suspension from the speeding incident in December.

The teenager cannot be named because he was 17 at the time.

He said three of his four parents and step parents had lost their jobs or suffered reduced work hours because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The young man said relying on them for lifts to and from his place of work put increased pressure on the family unit and would impact his ability to start university later this month.

In a written submission by Transport NSW prosecutor Richard O'Neill raised concerns about the fact this was the second suspension the driver received in less than 12 months for another offence directly related to road safety.

Magistrate Geoff Dunlevy acknowledge exceeding the speed limit was the principal cause of death on NSW roads.

He gave the teenager credit for taking on a larger financial role in his family because of the coronavirus crisis despite being a young person.

Mr Dunlevy adjusted the suspension to 28 days from Wednesday that would be extended if the P-plater did pass a driver knowledge test within that time.

Rodney James Pryor, 54, was also successful in appealing his licence suspension after being caught behind the wheel having had too many beers.

Mr Pryor told the court he had "three cans of beer over a few hours" and thought he was OK to drive to the supermarket.

"I should have waited another hour and had something to eat," he said.

The Pottsville man, who had his right leg amputated above the knee because of cancer, explained he needed his licence to get to work and take his chronically ill wife to medical appointments.

He said because of his amputation, moving around was difficult and public transport could not get him to his work.

Police prosecutor Bill Chaffey referenced Mr Pryor's poor driving history and the fact he was "by his own admission" a habitual offender.

"We are all in need of a licence for different reasons but also aware what we need to do to keep that privilege," Mr Chaffey said.

Mr Dunlevy took into account the exceptional circumstances brought on by the coronavirus and Mr Pryor's amputation when he set aside the suspension.

He warned Mr Pryor, further suspensions could be imposed.