GP banned from driving after string of speeding offences
- Credit: Archant © 2009
A doctor caught speeding has been banned from driving after magistrates rejected claims the Covid pandemic meant she needed to keep her licence in order to visit patients.
Dr Catherine Grant, 49, had 12 points for previous speeding offences when she was caught by a mobile speed camera doing 35mph in a 30mph limit in Attleborough on May 28 this year.
Appearing at Great Yarmouth Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, she argued an automatic driving ban should not be imposed because the pandemic had caused a shortage of GPs to visit vulnerable patients.
Pleading exceptional hardship, the full time GP said she also needed her licence to visit her daughter at university in Wales.
The court heard she had previously been spared a driving ban in 2019 after successfully arguing it would result in the loss of her job.
Alan Wheatman, defending, said she was pleading for exceptional hardship again because the pandemic meant there were fewer GPs as many had left the profession.
“There are even fewer that are prepared to do what is expected of Dr Grant, that is to travel out and about to do face-to-face meetings with patients,” he said.
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“She is covering surgeries that don’t even have their own residential GP because they’ve left.
“It involves a tremendous amount of mileage on Dr Grant’s part, working long hours and involves her being where she needs to make sure that people get the medical attention and care that they are entitled to.
“If she loses her driving licence she is not going to be able to do that.”
Grant, of Blackthorn Road in Attleborough, told the court she had fitted a speed warning device to her car following previous speeding offences.
She had “stupidly” forgotten to switch it on when she drove to Attleborough station to give her daughter a face mask for a train journey and had feared being late for patient appointments, she added.
Magistrates banned her from driving for six months and fined her £500, saying they did not believe a nationwide shortage of GPs constituted exceptional hardship.
Last year a series of paintings by Grant of emergency staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital during the pandemic went on display.