Health worker fined for taking call

HEALTH worker Carolyn Balle was left with a £60 fine and three points on her driving licence after a brief conversation on her mobile phone.Balle, 42, was driving home to Orwell Road, Felixstowe, admitted using a handheld mobile phone while driving when she appeared before South East Suffolk magistrates.

HEALTH worker Carolyn Balle was left with a £60 fine and three points on her driving licence after a brief conversation on her mobile phone.

Balle, 42, was driving home to Orwell Road, Felixstowe, admitted using a handheld mobile phone while driving when she appeared before South East Suffolk magistrates.

Prosecutor Stephen Colman said Balle was driving home from work at the Bartlet Hospital on March 7 when she was spotted by a police officer with her phone pressed to her ear as she waited at a red traffic light.

When the light changed she pulled away and turned with the phone still clasped to her ear. She drove a further 100 metres while on the phone.


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The police officer put on his blue light and pulled her over, at which point she immediately admitted the offence - saying it was an emergency call.

Balle told the court she realised it was wrong to be distracted by a mobile phone, but she had been contacted as she drove away from work about one of her seriously-ill patients who subsequently died.

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“I was not driving along the A14 and I had not made the call myself. It was a real emergency,” she told the magistrates.

Balle said she would have accepted a £60 fixed penalty for the offence, but had had to come to court because officers at Felixstowe police station did not know what to do with her New Zealand driving licence.

Because of the problems with dealing with her driving licence, magistrates decided against awarding the £43 costs requested by the prosecution and imposed the same penalty Balle would have received had a fixed penalty notice been issued.

Are courts tough enough on people who use mobiles while driving? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk>

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