Speed­ster loses li­cence

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - The Courts -

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.”

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