Former cop's careless driving charge dismissed

A charge of careless driving against a former policeman has been dismissed in the Oamaru District Court.

Charles David Ryan (59) was charged with careless driving after his Toyota Hilux was clipped by a train at a railway crossing on a private access road, off Waimotu Rd, in Maheno.

However, Judge Joanna Maze dismissed police claims that the driveway, which serviced four closed-off properties, constituted a public road.

She said the road was on private land and warning signs made it clear to members of the public they were entering private property.

In order for it to be considered a public road and fall under the auspices of the Land Transport Act, a road must be used as a thoroughfare from one place to another, she said.

The judge elected to reserve costs.



Police problems

Surely, if the car and train made contact then the car must be in the Rail corridor, not on a private road. What would be the result if there was substantial property damage or injury/loss of life through a derailment?

I know of cases where people have had speeding tickets dismissed because the officer forgot to put on his cap, but this does not alter the fact that the Law was broken!