Driver with 42 points escapes ban

Driver with 42 points escapes ban

A speeding motorist who racked up 42 points on his licence has avoided a driving ban.

Alex McFarlane, 50, triggered safety cameras seven times in three months while driving around Essex.

During one of the incidents a passenger leaned out of the window, laughing and waving at the camera as the vehicle passed at 82mph.

On another occasion between June and August last year, the construction site manager from Basildon reached speeds of up to 109mph.

Each time he was caught breaking the law he failed to respond to penalty notices sent by Essex Police .

McFarlane initially denied all seven offences but changed his plea to guilty at Southend Magistrates' Court on Monday, police say.

He received six points for each offence, but magistrates allowed him to keep his licence after he argued a driving ban would result in him losing his job and leave him unable to pay debts.

However, he was warned he would face an immediate ban if he committed any further offences. He was also ordered to pay fines and legal costs totalling £1,070.

Since the offences, McFarlane has undergone treatment for a nervous breakdown that led to a spending spree and heavy debts, the court was told.

Adam Pipe, Essex Police's casualty reduction manager, says safety cameras are a vital tool in reducing fatal and serious road collisions and making the UK's roads safer for everyone.

The police are "determined to bring offenders to justice", he says, and can use camera and other technology as well as "good old-fashioned policing" to find people who try to flout the law.

He adds that in this case magistrates clearly stated that if McFarlane is found speeding again he will automatically lose his licence and could receive a long disqualification, and urged members of the public to inform police if they have concerns about his driving.

The full list of the speeding offences reads: 109mph and 82mph in a 50mph limit stretch of the Royal Artillery Way, Southend; 69mph and 59mph in a 50mph zone on the A127 at Rayleigh; 55mph in a 40mph limit area on the A127 at Laindon; and 32mph in a 20mph zone at Marine Parade, Westcliff.

The seventh offence was driving through a red traffic light on the A127 at Southend.

Copyright Press Association 2015