Juvenile told by court to wake up

A Cowra 15-year-old who drove without a licence has left Cowra Local Court without a conviction after being told to “wake up”.

The young person was charged with driving despite never holding a licence.

Police saw the young person driving a vehicle on October 9 last year with two passengers.

When spoken to on two occasions he declined to admit driving the vehicle.

Magistrate Michael O’Brien had stern words for the young person who he placed on a bond for 12 months

“Wake up, you want to live a long life. Stop making stupid decisions,” Mr O’Brien told the young person.

Defending her client, solicitor Jo Collings said he drove the vehicle, which was a manual, as no one else was able to drive it.

His ability to drive a manual at a first attempt was questioned by the court.

“That’s not something you pick up at a first attempt,” Mr O’Brien told the young person’s solicitor.

“Coming to court has been quite stressful for him,” Mr Collings said, to which Mr O’Brien replied “and so it should be”.

“He takes this very seriously,” Ms Collings said.

“Coming to court has been a learning experience and he never wants to come back again,” she said.

Addressing the young person Mr O’Brien said: “For a person who has not previously driven it would be extraordinary to get behind the wheel and operate a manually geared motor vehicle”.

“You were cautioned in August of last year by police for a similar event. You were told that you were not to drive.

“Everyone else that wants the privilege to drive a motor vehicle has to earn that privilege. They apply for their licence and undertake the hours of instruction to ensure they don’t become a menace to the public.

“They have to demonstrate knowledge of the road rules to show they know what is expected of them, that’s everyone else it seems, but you.

“What you fail to appreciate is that by getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle without a licence you put your own life at risk and the lives of everyone else.

“You have yet to demonstrate you know how to operate a motor vehicle safely.

“You took it upon yourself to carry others in the vehicle effectively playing Russian Roulette with a car.

“If people were able to simply get behind the wheel and drive it would be chaos (on the roads).

“What is disturbing is that you were told not to drive and you went ahead and did it anyway,” Mr O’Brien told the young person.