English tourist clocked at 178kmh


An English tourist might be sent to prison after being caught speeding 78kmh over the legal limit near Hokitika.

Appearing in the Queenstown District Court yesterday, Peter Lee, 46, technician, was convicted on a charge of driving at a dangerous speed.

Prosecutor Sergeant Ian Collin says Lee was driving a rental vehicle south on State Highway 6 near Hokitika on Sunday when he was clocked at 178kmh in a 100kmh zone.

When stopped and spoken to by a police officer, he said his father was ill.

Duty solicitor Sonia Vidal says Lee will find it difficult to pay a fine of more than a few hundred dollars.

He was before the courts in his home country on bankruptcy and liquidation matters, and his trip to New Zealand was being wholly funded by his father.

Judge Michael Crosbie says the behaviour of foreign licence-holders on New Zealand roads was highly topical and imposing a fine of a few hundred dollars would set “an untenable precedent”.

He indicated a sentence of a fine of more than $1000, and suggested Lee’s father and other family members help raise the money. The alternative was a prison term.

“He’s got to face up to his responsibilities.”

Otago Daily Times