Driver caught carrying two tonnes of unsecured garden waste on van avoids losing licence
PUBLISHED: 14:42 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:42 18 March 2019
A driver caught carrying two tonnes of unsecured garden waste on his van has avoided losing his licence – after telling magistrates he needed it for work.
Dad-of-two Benjamin Smith was stopped by police on July 17 last year after one of the waste bags fell from the roof of his vehicle on the A140 in Diss.
An inspection of the 28-year-old’s Vauxhall Combo van found a second bag was only secured by a single strap.
Prosecutor Waseem Raja told Norwich Magistrates’ Court there was a danger of injury to another person due to it not being properly secured.
Smith, who represented himself, said he had not long past his driving test at the time of the offence.
He said there is no training on how to secure a load to a vehicle.
“I tried my best to secure it,” he said. “I was already stopped when police pulled up as I was trying to fix the situation.
“When it did come loose I stopped.”
The court heard that Smith already had four points on his license for speeding in February last year and was at risk of gaining another three for the latest offence.
It meant he was at risk of losing his licence as both offences occurred within two years of him passing his driving test.
But Smith told magistrates if he lost his licence he would lose his job.
He said: “My boss told me if I lose my licence don’t bother coming in tomorrow.”
Smith, of Elizabeth Court, Elizabeth Way, Eye, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle on a road while there was a danger of injury due to the security of a load.
Rather than add three points to his licence, magistrates disqualified him from driving for seven days.
He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £100 in prosecution costs and a further £30 victim surcharge.
Had the points been added, Smith would have lost his licence and been required to retake both his practical and theory test.
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