Fury over speeding ban

ROAD safety campaigners today hit out at a Suffolk court after a man was banned for just two months after driving at more than 120mph on the A14.

ROAD safety campaigners today hit out at a Suffolk court after a man was banned for just two months after driving at more than 120mph on the A14.

The driver believed he was doing around 75mph was in fact caught speeding at more than 120mph, a court has heard.

Michal Michalak, of Nayland Road in Felixstowe, was clocked by police breaking the speed limit on the A14 near Trimley at about 4.10am on the morning of August 23, 2008.

Michalak, 25, was driving Mercedes E320 when he was recorded driving at 122.5mph.

At South East Magistrates' Court in Ipswich he was disqualified from driving for 56 days and ordered to pay �323 fine and costs.

The Polish national told magistrates he had finished work later than normal and had been driving home in time to leave for holiday and catch a plane from Gatwick at 8am the same morning.

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The lorry driver claimed he had not realised he was breaking the limit but admitted not keeping a check of his speedometer at all times.

He said: “I didn't realise I was going that fast because it took the same amount of time to get home as usual. I finished work late maybe why I speed up too much. I would have to find a different job if disqualified.”

He said because the journey home from work had taken the time as normal he had thought he was travelling within the legal speed limit.

Chair of the magistrates bench Elizabeth Brown said Michalak's claim of losing his job if he were banned did not constitute exceptional hardship.

Road safety charity Brake condemned the lenient sentences calling for more extreme punishments including dangerous driving charges to deter reckless drivers.

A spokeswoman said: “In both of these cases the drivers were acting extremely recklessly given their speed and surroundings.

“We want to see such behaviour resulting in a dangerous driving charge and a high fine, such as �1,000.

“Punishments need to act as a deterrent for drivers who insist on breaking the law and putting other people's lives in danger.

“The justice system needs to hammer home to drivers the dangers of high speeds and the punishment needs to reflect the severity of a crime which can rob someone of their life in seconds.”

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