Speedster loses licence
STRESSING THAT he had to deter motorists from using excessive speeds on the highway, Magistrate Graveney Bannister took away the driver’s licence of a man who was doing 135 kilometres per hour in a 60 kph section of the ABC Highway.
The decision apparently stunned Joseph Nathaniel Cumberbatch, causing him to reel in the dock of the Bridgetown Traffic Court.
“You will always remember not to speed,” Magistrate Bannister told the motorist yesterday.
Cumberbatch, of Forty Acres, St Thomas, had pleaded not guilty to driving at 135 kph at 5:15 a.m. on September 27, 2016, on the Barrow section of the highway. He conducted his defence, while Sergeant Theodore Mcclean prosecuted the case for the Crown.
Magistrate Bannister fined the first-time traffic offender $1 000 forthwith or 100 days in prison, and disqualified him from holding all classes of vehicular licences for six months.
He said there was no doubt in his mind that the police had clocked Cumberbatch at 135 kph.
“I’ve got to deter people from driving at those speeds on the roads,” he declared.
But Cumberbatch had begged the court to allow him to keep his licence, saying he lived in St Thomas but worked in St Lucy.
He added while his wife did have a licence, she had a fear of the roads and therefore did not drive. In addition, he said he had his children to collect from after-school activities.
“Twenty-seven years I have been driving without any prior convictions. I have always maintained, if I was [a habitual] speedster, I would have been back [in court]. That [offence] was a whole year ago,” he said, as he asked for community service and then the maximum fine allowed under the law.
“You were almost at one and a half times over the speed limit. The court is of the view that a fine alone cannot meet the needs of the case. It would not be a sufficient deterrent,” Magistrate Bannister said.
During the trial, the traffic cop who reported Cumberbatch said he had checked his radar gun before going on patrol and it was working properly.
Constable Jason Boyce said he was on patrol when he saw P7925. He was 15 to 20 metres behind the vehicle and he realised it was speeding. The lawman added he did a field test of the radar, and then locked it on Cumberbatch’s car.
He then stopped the speeding motorist and showed him the reading.
But Cumberbatch, in his defence from the witness stand, disputed the evidence, saying he was going no faster than 80-85 kph.
“The method of taking speed is noted to be one of the most difficult,” Cumberbatch said.
“While I do not dispute that the radar was working efficiently, what I do dispute is the manner in which Mr Boyce took the speed. I believe he took the speed from the vehicle going in the opposite direction.”