30 dangerous, careless, reckless driving, and speeding offences and still a driving instructor

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A driving instructor who has racked up about 30 offences for dangerous, careless and reckless driving, and speeding, can carry on teaching people.

The NZ Transport Agency ruled Rangitikei man Wiremu Abraham wasn’t fit to be an instructor, but a court judgment backing its decision has been thrown out.

Does any court judgement actually go unchallenged and is subsequently upheld?   It seems that most idiotic appeals succeed.  

His “persistent offending” over 34 years was a red flag for the transport agency this time, as well as Judge Gregory Ross, who, in the Palmerston North District Court, said Abraham had “an example to set” and he should “practise what he preaches”.

Ross said the offending “actually or potentially compromises the safety of other road users” and allowing Abraham to hold a driving instructor endorsement “would not be in the interests of public safety”. An instructor endorsement was “a privilege and not a right”.

Abraham appealed Ross’ ruling and in the High Court in Palmerston North, Justice Helen Cull said she accepted Abraham’s lawyer’s argument that the judge “inappropriately elevated public safety concerns”, as well as taking into account too many “offences” and making mistakes in the way he applied the law.

Though Abraham was apprehended for 32 traffic-related offences, most were not recent and after his warning there were only four – three for speeding and one that prosecutors withdrew.

“In those last five years, Mr Abraham’s history has included three instances of very low-level offending, namely speeding infringements,” Cull said in a judgment released this week.

She said Abraham successfully renewed his endorsement in 2010, when he was declared fit and proper. The judge failed to focus on 2010 to 2015, she said.

The standards have now been permanently lowered.  Instead of protecting the public, the judge has protected one man who has a life-time of serious road offences on his record.   And I don’t know about you, but three speeding tickets in the last four years is hardly a minor issue for anyone who drives.

For someone who teaches others how to drive, that simply doesn’t meet the mark.


– Stuff

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