Repeat speeder Wigan nurse escapes road ban for being Covid life-saver

A Wigan nurse who was caught on the same motorway speed cameras five times within a matter of weeks has been spared a road ban because she’s a Covid life-saver.

Friday, 20th November 2020, 10:21 am
Updated Friday, 20th November 2020, 10:22 am

Despite the repeat infringements clocking up a total of 15 points on her licence, Wigan magistrates did not disqualify Hayley McDonald from driving because of the mitigating circumstances in her case – that she is a ventilation specialist working at Manchester Royal Infirmary.

The hearing was told that the 35-year-old’s Vauxhall Antara was flashed again and again for breaking the temporary 50mph limit between junctions 12 and 11 of the westbound carriageway of the M62, between the M62/M60 interchange and Birchwood, Warrington.

Justices were told that each time the average speed cameras clocked her for travelling at between 57mph and 59mph on lanes which were undergoing smart motorway work. The first was on September 26 then October 3, October 17, October 20 and November 11.

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Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Each time it was the same vehicle, heading in the same direction, on the same carriageway and always breaking the limit by almost the same margin.

McDonald, of Wennington Road, Highfield, had been further charged with three times failing to notify the police of who was at the wheel of the vehicle each time it broke the limit, but these charges were withdrawn.

The bench explained why it was not banning McDonald despite awarding three more points than the 12 maximum it usually takes to see a motorist disqualified.

The chair said: “The defendant is a key NHS worker as a nurse at Manchester Hospital. She would be caused exceptional hardship if disqualified as she needs to be able to drive to work. Public transport would be costly and not viable as she is on-call at short notice and often works until midnight.

“If disqualified she would be caused exceptional hardship which would impact on family finances.

“Her work involves a specialism in ventilation which may impact on patients.”

As well as imposing three points for each of the five offences, she was also fined £100 for each. A victim services surcharge and court costs brought the final bill to £635.

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