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8/27/2006
UK: Father Banned from Driving for Saving Poisoned Daughter
The Swindon, UK Crown Court bans a father from driving because he was photographed speeding on the way to the hospital with his poisoned daughter.

Great Western Hospital
The Swindon, UK Crown Court last week banned Gregg Holmes, 29, from driving for six weeks and fined him £150 (US $283) after a speed camera photographed him rushing his poisoned daughter to a hospital. The three-year-old had taken eleven packets of paracetamol, an over-the-counter pain medication that is toxic enough in high doses to lead to liver failure and death.

On July 20, Holmes drove 121 MPH past a speed camera on the M4 highway (70 MPH speed limit) at 12:33pm. Thirteen minutes later his daughter arrived at the emergency room of Great Western Hospital. Because she was released in an hour, the court concluded that his daughter was in "a worrying condition, not a serious one."

Holmes told the court, "I don't know, I'm not a doctor."

Because Holmes is unemployed, he did not have legal representation to argue that under the 1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act, "No statutory provision imposing a speed limit on motor vehicles shall apply to any vehicle on an occasion when it is being used for... ambulance... purposes, if the observance of that provision would be likely to hinder the use of the vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used on that occasion."

The court accepted Holmes was acting out of concern for his daughter's life and reduced the driving ban from ten weeks to six weeks, but kept the sizable fine.

Source: Hospital Dash Speeder Wins A Shorter Ban (Wiltshire Times (UK), 8/23/2006)

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