Truckie in wrong lane nearly hit police car head-on

A MARIAN truck driver has been fined for nearly causing a head-on collision with a police car.

Allan Michael French, 45, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention in Mackay Magistrates Court this morning.

Magistrate Damien Dwyer said that on March 12 French had been driving a prime mover truck along a highway at Harlin, a small town about 130km north-west of Brisbane.

He was following behind a ute that was carrying hay and travelling slowly.

French came to a bend, crossed double white lines and overtook the ute, into the path of an oncoming police car. Police estimate he was driving at 90kmh in a 100kmh zone.

"The police vehicle was forced to take evasive action to avoid contact… it veered sharply to the left… and tyres screeched," Mr Dwyer said.

When police intercepted French, he told them he'd been frustrated by the slow vehicle.

Mr Dwyer said defence solicitor Steven Hayles had argued successfully that French shouldn't lose his driver's licence.

French had been a truck driver for 27 years and, at the time, had been driving the truck from Moranbah for repairs.

He'd owned a trucking business for nine years and had never previously lost his licence. He did have three entries on his driving history, including speeding.

Mr Dwyer said he accepted that French realised his driving needed to improve.

"He has taken steps to rectify that bad judgement by completing a defensive driving course," he said.

Yet Mr Dwyer noted that the driving "could easily have had a bad result".

He said the loss of licence would significantly affect French's business and didn't disqualify him from driving.

French was fined $1000. No conviction was recorded.


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