A FORMER world title winner in the sport of motocross has been banned from driving after being caught behind the wheel of a Ford Transit van at 101mph.
Trevor Calderwood (58), of Old Portglenone Road, Ahoghill, was detected at midday on June 2 this year at the Frosses Road dual-carriageway, a prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court, sitting in Antrim town.
The prosecutor said the speed of 101mph was 41mph over the speed restriction of 60mph for the van on that road.
A guilty plea was entered to an excess speed charge.
Defence barrister Michael Smyth said the road itself was 70mph but the van was restricted to 60mph.
The court heard the defendant was involved in the refrigeration trade for over 27 years and travels all over Ireland and in 30 years of driving he had only previously came to police attention once for a driving related matter.
On June 2 this year, Mr Smyth said the defendant was on his way to a work related meeting and had been “running late”.
The barrister said in June “traffic was light because of coronavirus” and with very few vehicles on the road that may explain why the defendant allowed his speed to “creep up”.
The lawyer asked the judge to consider not banning the defendant from driving in order to avoid any “unnecessary impact” on his business and the 12 people he employs as the defendant had a “clean” licence and he had last got three points in 2010 for speeding which have now expired.
Mr Smyth said the defendant was taking the current matter “very seriously” and with his business doing well he would be in a position to pay a “significant financial penalty” in order to avoid any “knock-on effect” on his work if a ban was handed out.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the “starting point” for people who speed at more than 100mph is a three months ban but he said he would temper that given the limited record.
The judge, however, said: “There must be a very clear signal given to drivers – if you go at this speed you can well expect a disqualification.”
The defendant was banned from driving for a month and fined £200.