Taxi driver fined for ignoring crash scene in East Bendigo

TWO ambulances, two police cars, two tow trucks and a CFA tanker with lights flashing were not enough to stop a taxi driver from entering the scene of a crash in East Bendigo in May.

The driver contested his $311 penalty notice in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on Monday, claiming he did not notice the scene.

The court heard two cars collided at the intersection of Lloyd and Murphy streets on May 3.

Police attended and used traffic cones to cordon off the area, before two ambulances and a fire truck arrived. Two tow trucks also parked in the area.

At 4.20pm, a taxi driving north on Murphy Street stopped at the cones, and then attempted to drive through.

A police officer shouted at him to stop. The court heard the taxi drove 10 metres into the crash scene with his elderly passenger.

The driver claimed he “didn’t see the cones or police car”, and was issued a penalty notice for failing to follow police directions.

He took it to court, but eventually conceded he may have been in the wrong.

The driver claimed he “would have noticed” the cones, because he had 20 years experience as a taxi driver, and the tow trucks were blocking his vision.

Magistrate Bruce Cottrill said it was unusual that the taxi driver would not notice the obvious signs of a car crash.

“You more than anyone else in the community would have the capacity to notice,” he said.

“I don’t think this is the highest end of seriousness.”

The driver was ordered to make a $200 donation to the Salvation Army, and was placed on a six-month good behaviour bond.