Driver racks up $30,000 in fines
IF you happen to be driving around the Fraser Coast district beware of 30-year-old Urangan man Troy James Nielson.
Mr Nielson can lay claim to being the worst traffic offender in the district.
The good news about that is he won't be on the road legally for at least another 12 months.
When he recently appeared at the Hervey Bay Magistrates Court, Magistrate Graeme Tatnell commented that Nielson's history of driving offences was the longest he had ever seen.
The 30-year-old father's latest traffic misdemeanours include being caught driving a car on June 7 and August 10 and a motorbike on August 24 - all while his licence was suspended due to an accumulation of demerit points.
Prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said there was no way Nielson could have claimed ignorance of his demerit suspension - he had lost 24 points in less than 12 months.
Nielson pleaded guilty to three charges of unlicensed driving, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle with cancelled plates and failing to wear an approved motorbike helmet.
When he was pulled over on June 7 he told police it was an emergency: he had been to the hospital with a suspected case of swine flu, he said.
The second time Nielson was caught he was on his way to the shops to buy cigarettes.
Third time unlucky involved a quick spin around the block on his motorbike.
Defence solicitor John Milburn said Nielson had not put anyone in danger by driving.
Mr Milburn tendered several references from Nielson's family and friends.
The court heard Nielson had managed to reduce his unpaid traffic fines from $30,000 to $17,000.
Mr Tatnell added another $500 to the bill after convicting Nielson.
“To continue to drive when your licence is suspended is stupid behaviour,” he said. “If you want to stay out of jail you're going to have to be squeaky clean.”
Nielson was given a six-month jail term for the unlicensed driving charges but was released immediately on parole.
He was fined for the other traffic offences, banned from driving for a year and had his motorbike impounded for three months.