Tailgating truckie cops magistrate's fury
A MAGISTRATE has thrown the book at a truckie convicted of tailgating a car on the Pacific Highway.
Thomas Stephen Griffiths, 63, failed to front Lismore Local Court on Thursday for his sentencing but was represented by a solicitor.
According to the facts, on November 16 last year Griffiths was driving a semi-trailer on the Pacific Highway at Woodburn where a speed safety camera filmed the truck tailgating the car in front on the single lane stretch of highway.
Griffiths was subsequently charged by Roads and Maritime for following another vehicle too closely in an average speed zone.
Magistrate David Heilpern noted that Griffiths had failed to enter a plea of guilty to the charge and instead elected to have the matter brought before the court.
He said the offence was a serious because dangerous behavior on the road could have tragic consequences, and the Woodburn area was notorious for serious crashes.
"As I say this is a serious offence because those of us who travel on that highway are aware of (situations involving) tailgating... (trucks) following (cars) too closely," he said.
"I think we're also aware of the number of tragic acccidents involving trucks."
Magistrate Heilpern said Griffith had several instances of making false and misleading entries in his drivers' logbook, as well as speeding convictions.
"Taking into account all of these matters... the defendant is fined $1500 and disqualified for a period of 3 months from today," he said.
Griffith was also ordered to fork out another $440 in court costs.
Magistrate Heilpern said the lesson was simple: "If you drive too closely behind other vehicles you will be dealt with severely."