P-plater lunacy; 150km/h in the fog
By Janelle McLennan
WOODBURN teenager Jae Kenneth Rose-Rogers admits he was behaving stupidly when he got behind the wheel of a VN Commodore with three mates and hurtled down a fog-shrouded road at 150 km/h early one Saturday morning five weeks ago.
The P-plater had no other reason for Casino Local Court magistrate Nick Reimer when asked to explain his actions yesterday.
"It was just stupid behaviour," the 18-year-old said.
Then, when asked if he had anything to say for himself, Rose-Rogers said: "I'm very sorry for my actions. I should have been a lot more responsible."
Just minutes before, Rose-Rogers, who represented himself in court, pleaded guilty to exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h as a P1 licence holder.
The incident earned Rose-Rogers six months disqualification from driving, a $1000 fine and court fees of $70.
According to facts tendered to the court, police spotted Rose-Rogers, who has held his Provisional licence for just over a year, driving the Commodore in Woodburn Street, Evans Head, about 1.05am on June 16.
At the time he was estimated to be travelling about 70km/h in a 50km/h zone.
Police turned around to intercept Rose-Rogers and by the time they spotted him again, the 18-year-old was thought to be travelling at around 100km/h in a 60km/h zone.
Once out of town and on the road to Woodburn, the teenager put the foot down again, and by police estimates was travelling at more than 150km/h as he passed through a patch of thick fog at Dunbar.
Police caught up with Rose-Rogers when he stopped the car in Golf Link Road, on the outskirts of Woodburn, so one of his mates could go to the toilet.
A roadside breath test on Rose-Rogers came back negative.
When asked by police about how fast he had been travelling, Rose-Rogers said the last time he looked at the speedo he was doing 150km/h.
When considering the penalty he would impose on Rose-Rogers, Mr Reimer told the teenager he was extremely lucky police had not charged him with the more serious matter of speed dangerously.
"The police have been very kind to you," he said.
"If you had been charged with speed dangerously, the automatic disqualification period is three years," Mr Reimer said.
"You should be terribly grateful that the police charged you with what they did."