A man has been fined for speeding in South Shields – after exceeding a 6.9 miles an hour limit.
Fraser Robertson, 31, of Wallsend Road, North Shields, was given a speeding fine with a difference after appearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
He admitted going over a speed limit of six knots – 6.9 miles an hour – imposed by the Port of Tyne Authority while riding his jet ski near South Shields.
Another charge Robertson faced – that he navigated a vessel without care and caution and at such speed and manner that it could endanger others – was dropped.
He was fined a total of £170 for exceeding the speed limit.
Representing Robertson, Mark Harrison told magistrates that his client had been trying to assist friends when he was caught by police.
This is a relatively unusual chargeMark Harrison
He said: “This is a relatively unusual charge.
“He acknowledges that he was in a hurry, but this wasn’t him racing, showing off or messing about.
“He had been out with two other crafts and there were six people out in total.
“One of the vessels broke down and he wanted to assist it as quickly as possible because they were stranded in the open water.
“He became frustrated when the police were speaking to him because, all the time he was speaking with the police, his friends were in potential danger and in need of some assistance.
“He was out throughout the summer months on his craft and did not come to the attention of the police any other time.”
Prosecuting, Caroline Hargreaves told magistrates that Robertson had a history of that kind of offence, and encouraged them to impose a heavier fine.
The magistrates – led by chair Stephen Bradley – ordered Robertson to pay £100 in costs, a £30 victim surcharge and a fine of £40, leaving him with £170 to pay overall.
The charge that he admitted related to a bye law enforced by the Port of Tyne authority.
The charge said that Robertson “rode a personal watercraft at a speed well in excess of the six knots speed limit”.
Bosses at the Port of Tyne say they want people to “enjoy” using the River Tyne.
However, they argue that the bye laws are in place to ensure it is kept safe for all users of the river.
Port of Tyne harbour master Steven Clapperton said: “We want people to enjoy using the river for recreational use, but the Tyne is a busy commercial waterway with many dangers, particularly for vessels exceeding the speed limit.”