MEALE BANNED FROM DRIVING
MP Meale hit with road ban
CHAD website, 09 July 2007
By Michael Johns
RED-FACED Mansfield MP Alan Meale says he has paid the consequence after being slapped with a 56-day driving ban for running a traffic light last year.
He appeared before the town's magistrates last week to face a charge of failing to conform to a traffic signal on 3rd November.
The court was told that Meale drove his vehicle through a red stop light at the junction of Old Mill Lane and Leeming Lane at Mansfield Woodhouse.
Speaking to Chad this week, the Labour MP said: "I have pleaded guilty to receiving points totalling 12 for a number of incidents over the previous three years.
"These included driving 35mph and 37mph in a 30mph zone and that I drove 13mph through a yellow light and I pleaded guilty to them all."
Notching up a total of 12 points on his licence and faced with a long-term driving ban, Meale pleaded exceptional hardship in court –– claiming his duties as MP for the area required him to drive.
The court confirmed that Meale laid before it four reasons why he should not receive the long disqualification, which were:
* He is a very busy man.
* Constituents depend on him.
* Public duties require him to drive and arrive at airports and stations at exceptional hours.
* He has many visits to carry out and it is difficult to employ a driver.
Said Meale: "I went to court and pleaded guilty and said a driving ban would affect my occupation. I have to go to London and return to my home and travel around my constituency.
"On each of the four occasions I got the points when I was working and moving to constituencies and the judge accepted the circumstances."
Meale said during his ban he will continue to carry out his work by receiving lifts from family and friends and pay for taxis when needed.
"For each of the offences I have paid a £60 fine," he said. "I broke the law and I have paid the consequence for that."
District Judge Mervyn Harris accepted the exceptional hardship and dished out a £100 fine and ordered Meale to pay £35 court costs, while the ban took immediate effect.
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