A JUDGE told an ‘R’ driver caught doing 95mph – more than twice his permitted speed limit – the reason inexperienced drivers are restricted to doing 45mph for a period of time is to keep them and the public safe.
District Judge Peter King was speaking to Caleb McKee (18), of Holywood Road, Newtownards, who was detected exceeding his 45mph limit by 50mph at Dunhill Road near Coleraine on June 21 this year.
And he had no ‘R’ plates displayed at the time.
At Coleraine Magistrates Court on Friday the defendant pleaded guilty to the two offences he faced.
A defence lawyer said it was accepted the speed was “very fast” but said the road was clear and the conditions were good.
He said the offence happened near the end of the defendant’s restricted period as he was on his way to Donegal.
The lawyer said the defendant’s father had attended court with his son and that he was “glad” his son had been stopped by police as it may have prevented something “more serious” happening.
The lawyer said the defendant said it had been a beautiful day and he “simply lost the run of himself”.
The lawyer said the Dunhill Road “lends itself to people perhaps going faster than would normally be the case”.
The court was told the defendant works in the family business – McKee’s Country Store & Restaurant – and that the offence was a “one-off” and he needed his licence for his job.
The lawyer said the defendant was in Portrush a number of weeks later and the same police officer who spoke to him on June 21 noticed he was displaying ‘R’ plates and driving in an “entirely reasonable manner” and “congratulated” him.
Imposing six penalty points and fines totalling £225, which means that as a recently qualified driver the defendant will have to re-sit his test, Judge King said: “The reason ‘R’ drivers are restricted is to protect the public because you don’t have the necessary experience to drive at the maximum speed permitted.
“The reason for that is to keep you safe and more importantly to keep everybody else safe”.