Truckie sentenced for ‘dangerous’ RV overtake

Published: May 6, 2021
truckie sentenced

A truck driver who put ‘multiple lives at risk’ when he overtook an RV as it approached a blind bend on South Australia’s Dukes Highway has been sentenced by the courts.

Dean Joseph Brophy, 49, who had previously pleaded guilty to due care (basic offence), was not present at the Mount Gambier Magistrates Court when his case was heard.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that Brophy was driving a 63.5t semi trailer loaded with gravel on the Dukes Highway on August 30, 2019.

The police prosecutor said Brophy put multiple lives at risk when he overtook the RV, which had been travelling at 80km/h.

“There was no visibility for the oncoming traffic around that bend,” the police prosecutor said. “Coming in the opposite direction at that time and around that corner was a van that had to brake heavily, and leave to the road.”

The prosecutor said there was a further oncoming car that didn’t have to leave the roadway, but it had to slow considerably, and pull far to the left.

“Ironically there is an overtaking lane within 300 metres of where this took place,” the prosecutor said. “The overtaking should never be performed … had this happened 30 seconds earlier it could have been a lot worse.”

According to the Advertiser’s report, defence lawyer Dylan Walsh argued that Brophy could not brake in time and took what he thought was the least risky of three options.

“The first option was to take the truck off-road into scrub, the second option was to continue straight and hit the Winnebago and the third was to attempt an overtaking manoeuvre,” Mr Walsh said. “The other two options would have caused significant fatalities, albeit that this was lucky that it didn’t.”

Magistrate Maria Panagiotidis recorded a conviction, ordered Brophy – who is his family’s only breadwinner – to pay a fine of $350, court fees of $681 and, acknowledging his good driving record and his personal circumstances, deferred a four-week disqualification to August 1.

The Advertiser reports that she said Brophy could have faced a harsher charge for the ‘very dangerous incident’, and that the case that warranted her exercising her discretion to disqualify him despite the law not requiring it.

Magistrate Panagiotidis said 63.5t of articulated motor vehicle was a lethal weapon.

“If he’s going too fast behind another vehicle to slow down or stop if he needs that in itself is driving without due care, the overtaking just compounds it,” she said. “The speed limit is intended to stop people driving faster than a speed that’s acceptable to the community generally … if your circumstances are such that the speed limit cannot be driven at safely you are obliged to drive less than the speed limit.”

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Pat from the Top End.
8 months ago

Just one of the many Truck drivers trying to make up lost time for the big boss’s in their offices who demand unrealistic time schedules from their employees.

Malcolm
8 months ago

I’ve driven trucks most of my life and have never lost a job for doing the legal time frames.As an owner driver you state to the company’s you will not break the law and I never lost a contract.Drivers just need to drive to the rules.

Lass
8 months ago

How can these Magistrates or solicitors sleep at night, responding or even giving their clients’ sob stories and then taking no notice of future consequences. Thank heavens no deaths on this occasion, but it could have been you or me

Colin reid
8 months ago

It probably wouldn’t of mattered , but maybe the driver Brophy had been behind the RV for quite a while and coming up to another overtaking lane wasn’t going to let the grey nomad speed up on him again !! It happens way to offer. , duel lanes mean overtake so all vehicles speed up , it’s breaking the law if you don’t allow overtaking vehicles to pass .
It’s a wonder , they don’t police this more often , the police watch this in Queensland .

Shane Clark
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin reid

Colin Reid, or perhaps just plain basic inpatients and bad behaviour on the part of the truck driver mmm ☺

Rob
7 months ago

We have towed close to 100,000km now and I can say that the truck drivers on the Bruce highway heading North are the most impatient drivers one could imagine. A small number are just gentlemen to drive with but the rest should be fined for their attitude to other vehicles. We are now in WA heading north and the experience is so totally different. The truck drivers are real gentlemen. I am prepared to hang a long way back and take my time, but they or their escorts will call you on the UHF to see if they can help you get past when it safe to do so. It’s such a pleasant change to what we are used to. Good on you WA truck drivers I wish your interstate counterparts would learn how you do it. You will all be Grey one day and probably a lot will join the Grey Nomad caravan crew. You will be shocked when towing a caravan in QLD (where we live)

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