Boss back on the road
A WHITSUNDAY restaurateur will be allowed back on the roads after injuring two people in a traffic incident and fleeing the scene.
Geoffrey Stephen Small, the co-owner of Airlie Beach institution KC’S Bar and Grill, copped an $8000 fine and had his licence disqualified for three years in January 2019 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, failing to comply with a requirement to stop a private vehicle, and failing to remain at or near a road incident and help the injured persons.
The charges stemmed from an October 2018 incident in which two passengers fell off the back of a scooter Small was riding along the Airlie Beach Esplanade.
Small (pictured) disobeyed police directions to stop and help them with injuries, including gravel burns to arms and legs as well as grazes and a lost toenail.
On Monday, Small fronted Proserpine Magistrates Court to ask for his licence back after two years and seven months off the road.
Solicitor Lynda Hughes told the court the 44-year-old “family man” had completed a traffic offenders program and had not reoffended during the disqualification period, which had given him “a better appreciation for needing a licence”.
“He’s been finding it difficult to provide for and help his family since being disqualified,” Ms Hughes said.
“He’s been reliant on his wife to drive him to and from work, to work-related errands and drive their four children to and from school, daycare and after school activities.
“This has caused considerable strain on his wife.”
Small’s only comment was that the incident had been a case of “bad judgment”.
Magistrate James Morton granted the application but told the court it should not take a traffic offenders program to be the “eye-opener” for a 44-year-old man.
“Maybe for a 17-year-old fool who can’t drive and doesn’t know the road rules, but this man’s been driving for a while,” he said.