Magistrate rejects tougher penalty for truckie
QUEENSLAND Transport has to adhere to court orders, just like anyone else, Gympie Magistrate Chris Callaghan has made clear.
Mr Callaghan had just imposed a $1000 total fine and two six-month licence disqualifications on Gympie truck driver Russell John Tipping.
Despite remarking on Tipping's lengthy history, with 10 previous disqualifications, he said the disqualifications would run concurrently.
He rejected prosecution advice that Queensland Transport often made disqualifications cumulative, putting Tipping off the road for a year.
Tipping pleaded guilty last week to disqualified driving on Mary Valley Highway at Southside on January 6 last year and to drink driving ( .097 per cent) three months later.
The court was told Tipping had initially lost his licence because of a high speed driving breach.
Police caught him driving during that disqualification period, when their vehicle's automatic number plate recognition equipment sounded an alarm.
Officers encountered him again on April 9, when they attended a crash at the Mary Valley Highway intersection with Ashton Rd at Gilldora.
Tipping, 40, pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared in Gympie Magistrates Court on Tuesday of last week.
Defence solicitor Greg Wildie said Tipping worked on West Australian road construction sites and would be "stuck in some very remote locations" without a licence.
In his sentencing remarks, Mr Callaghan said: "These are now disqualifications 11 and 12. One would have thought he would have learned by now."
Prosecutor Lisa Manns said the Transport Department might make the disqualifications cumulative, as it often did.
Tipping would then be charged if caught driving during the second six months.
"Then you come back here," Mr Callaghan said.
"The courts have more power than Transport, but if the Department of Transport wants to appeal (it can).
"Both disqualifications start today," he said.