Police v Unidentified Driver (2014) H&FLR 2014-62
Wonthaggi Magistrates Court (Victoria)
c. 26 November 2014
Coram: Magistrate Raleigh
Appearing for the Prosecution: Leading Senior Constable Kimberly Stewart (instructed by Victoria Police)
Appearing for the Defendant: Ruby Oldham (of Oakleys McKenzie-McHarg)
Catchwords: Victoria – traffic offences – stop sign – school crossing – children – recklessly endangering life – sentence
Facts: The defendant drove dangerously on two occasions. On 11 November 2013, while on her way to take her children to school, she ‘ran’ a stop sign. She then sped through a school crossing at 60 km/h. After dropping off her children, she ‘smoked’ her tyres while performing a U-turn, and then sped through the school crossing again. Subsequently, on 8 March 2014, she was seen travelling between 60-70km/h in a 60 km/h zone. She stopped at an intersection and again ‘smoked’ the tyres when accelerating away.
These incidents breached a community corrections order which had previously been imposed for another matter. She was charged with a number of offences including reckless conduct endangering life (Crimes Act 1958 (Vic), §22).
Held: The Court noted that the defendant’s actions had the potential to kill her own children as well as those of others. His Honour oberserved that the children may be safer without their mother and that her previous court appearance had not affected her behaviour. He noted there was evdience she was continuing to use marijuana.
The defendant was sentenced to three months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. Her drivers licence was cancelled for 12 months and fined her $500.00.
No written judgment is available. The report prepared based on the account in the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times, 2 December 2014, p.25.
The case is reported here because of its potential relevance to dangerous driving in the vicinity of athletic events.