Improper Use of a Motor Vehicle
Charges: Careless Driving (Improper Use) – Ringwood Magistrates Court.
Facts: The client took off too quickly at the traffic lights and lost wheel traction. The police were directly behind him in an unmarked police car. The client was pulled over and charged with Careless Driving Improper Use (S65A of the Road Safety Act). The client’s car was immediately impounded for 30 days.
Results: The client was driving a Ford Falcon XR8 and had only owned the car for 2 months. The client’s instructions were that the road was damp and that he hadn’t owned the car for very long. He said that when he took off at the lights the loss of traction was only brief and unintentional.
We advised the client that if that could be established then he did have a defence, but that it was risky to run that argument before a Magistrate. He was advised that an indication could be sought from the Magistrate, if the issue was licence loss. Duly advised, the client opted to run the matter to hearing.
Upon hearing the evidence the Magistrate accepted on the balance of probabilities that the client did not intentionally lose traction, and subsequently per s65A(2) was not guilty. The client not only was awarded costs, but potentially had a claim against police, as they had impounded his vehicle in accordance with part 6A of the Road Safety Act. See here for more information in relation to impoundment.