Most of us will commit some form of traffic offence during our time on the road.
But here are a few of the more unusual ways that drivers get themselves into trouble:
Starting Off on the Wrong Foot
Most law students will recall the infamous case of Fagan v Metropolitan Police Commissioner .
Mr Fagan was reversing his car onto a London road, when a police constable directed him into a parking spot.
As Fagan parked too far from the curb, the constable instructed him to do it again – but Fagan accidentally drove onto the officer’s foot.
The officer yelled ‘Get off my foot’, to which Fagan replied ‘Fuck you, you can wait.’ He turned off the motor and was later charged with assault.
For an assault to occur, there must be both a guilty mind (called mens rea) and a guilty act (the actus reus).
Fagan defended the charge on the basis that these two things were not present at the same time. The court disagreed – finding that he had both a guilty mind and committed the required act upon becoming aware that the car was on the officer’s foot.
Speeding to Court
Seth Tichenor from Vermont was observed by police weaving through traffic at 112mp/h (180km/h) in a 65mp/h (104km/h) zone on a major highway.
When pulled him over, Mr Tichenor explained that he was rushing to court to pay a speeding fine. He was charged with excessive speeding and negligent operation of a vehicle, and will appear in Vermont superior court.
Police in China are being faced with a growing problem – people who drive with intravenous drips sticking out of their arms.
In Zhejian province, they observed a man driving with a pole sticking out of his window attached to bag full of fluid while he was speaking on a mobile phone.
When pulled over, the man said that it was not a problem because he is “good at multi tasking”.
A woman was filmed engaging in similar behaviour in Guiyang province earlier this year.
Selfish driving habits don’t just annoy other drivers – they can have serious consequences.
In 2010, Tracy Kelsey was speeding down a UK highway near Durham when he overtook a car on the inside lane. When the other driver beeped his horn, Kelsey responded by giving the driver the finger and slamming on his brakes.
That’s when the sirens came on. Kelsey had chosen an undercover police car to pick on. He was breath tested and found to be four times over the legal blood alcohol limit. But this wasn’t Kelsey’s first drink driving offence, but his sixth.
He was given a 12-week suspended prison sentence and disqualified from driving for 5 years.
Traffic Offences in NSW
While these stories might make for entertaining reading, committing traffic offences in NSW can have serious consequences – including fines, losses of demerit points, suspensions, court imposed disqualifications and even the possibility of prison sentences for certain ‘major traffic offences’.
If you are facing a licence suspension or worse, it is a good idea to speak with an experienced traffic lawyer about your options and the best way forward.