From: Scotty on 13 Aug 2010 20:40
A driver pulled over by police for driving at 67kmh in a 100kmh zone with a line of traffic banked
up behind him has failed to have a $150 fine overturned.
A police officer was one of 19 vehicles stuck behind Geoffrey Hastings' 1986 Mazda Titan, a light
truck, as he drove from Napier to Bay View on April 30.
He travelled 2.5 kilometres without pulling over to let vehicles pass. When stopped, he told the
officer: "My foot was flat on the floor. I can't go any faster." He did not know about the line of
traffic because he had not been checking his rear-view mirror.
Hastings, 54, unemployed, of Takapau, appeared in Napier District Court yesterday to defend fines of
$150 for impeding the flow of traffic and $600 for driving a vehicle without a certificate of
The second car stuck behind Hastings was a police car driven by Senior Constable Taina Puketapu. He
told the court he followed Hastings for 2.5km along a straight section of road and Hastings failed
to move to the left to allow cars to pass. "He could have done [so] quite safely."
Hastings told the court he had been at the Vehicle Testing NZ station in Napier and was driving to
Bay View to collect a welding machine to repair a rear light so he could get a certificate of
fitness for the truck.
Under cross-examination by police prosecutor Chris Flood, he acknowledged there had been room for
him to move to the left. He also acknowledged the truck's certificate of fitness had expired two
His lawyer, James Rainger, said Hastings believed he was legally entitled to drive the vehicle
without a certificate if it was "being operated solely for the purpose of bringing [it] into
However, Mr Flood said this was permitted only within two weeks of the certificate expiring.
Two justices of the peace found the infringements proved. In addition to his fines, Hastings was
ordered to pay $130 court costs.
Outside court, an irate Hastings said he had been driving for 40 years and thought he had been
driving "at about 80kmh".
"But I don't know, my speedo might have been out ... It's not a fast truck. What was the danger?
What was the threat? What was the crime?"
He would not pay the fines.
The Road Code states: "If a driver's speed, when driving, is such as to impede the normal and
reasonable flow of traffic, that driver must, as soon as is practicable, move the vehicle as far as
practicable to the left side of the roadway when this is necessary to allow following traffic to
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