How a truck’s broken mirror led to bitter court dispute
AN acrimonious dispute over whether it was safe to pull over to give details after a minor traffic accident has led to a full-blown hearing in court today.
Former Logan Reserve truck driver David Colin Bell, 44, disputed his ticket for failing to stop and exchange details after he clipped the wing mirror of a truck contracted to Harvey's Towing Service on Muchow Rd at Waterford West on May 31 last year.
Beenleigh Magistrates Court heard that the incident occurred at about 10.45am near Marsden State High School.
The tow truck was attending a prior crash between a car and a motorcycle alongside two officers from Crestmead station when the officers and driver heard a "big bang" and the smashing of glass caused by Mr Bell's Hino flatbed truck.
The officers set off in pursuit, following Mr Bell for between 600m - 1km on Chambers Flat and Browns Plains roads, passing through two roundabouts and a set of traffic lights before he finally pulled over in Bunya St after the officers activated their sirens.
The court was played footage from Constable Martin Rodger's body cam, which showed an irate Mr Bell asking officers why he needed to stop before arguing that Bunya St was the closest place he could stop safely.
Constable Rodger, who was called as a witness, told the court he believed there were at least half a dozen safe spots to stop before Bunya St.
Under cross-examination, Mr Bell admitted that he knew he had clipped the tow truck's wing mirror and could have turned around at the roundabouts.
However, he argued that it was always his intention to pull over on Bunya St and that he didn't feel the accident was entirely his fault.
Mr Bell was fined $500 and ordered to pay $400 witness costs.
A conviction was recorded.
He was told if he had just acknowledged the accident, there would have been no need for a ticket or the subsequent court case.
After the decision was handed down, Mr Bell was seen remonstrating outside the courtroom with the two officers who issued him the ticket.
He asked them how he was supposed to give them an indication that he acknowledged the accident and would return once parking safely to give his details.
It was suggested he could have waved out the window.