IN THE SUPREME COURT OF HONG KONG
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 305 OF 1970
Coram: Mills-Owens J. in Court.
Date of Judgment: 13 July 1970
1. In this case the appellant pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving of a motor-cycle and was fined $100, his licence beingordered to be endorsed. He appeals against sentence, to the extent of asking that the order for endorsement be set aside. The circumstancesof the case were that at about 1 p.m. in a busy street, queen’s Road East, outside the Wanchai Post Office, he was following a motorcar which stopped at traffic lights; the appellant was unable to pull up and ran into the rear of the motor car. There was only slightdamage to both vehicles; the appellant sustained a nose injury but was not hospitalised. There was no weather factor contributingto the incident. Before the learned magistrate the appellant said his foot slipped on the brake; before me on the appeal he saidhis impetus was too great for him to stop before hitting the car. The only question is whether there is any ‘special reason’ whyendorsement should not be ordered. The appellant was inexperienced, having held a licence for but a short time, but, as the learnedmagistrate pointed out, referring to McCrone v. Riding (1938) 1 All E.R. 157, that was no special reason.
2. In Criminal Appeal No. 120 of 1970 (concerning the vilidity of Reg. 41B of the Road Traffic (Taxis, Public Omnibuses, Public LightBuses and Public Cars) Regulations) the Full Court had occasion to consider whether the slightness of the degree of careless drivingcould amount in law to a special reason for not ordering the impounding of a vehicle; the Solicitor-General conceded this was soand the Full Court so held. But the fact that careless driving leads to but minor consequences, whilst relevant to the amount ofthe fine to be imposed, does not, in my view, necessarily mean that the degree of carelessness must be treated as so slight as togive rise to a special reason for not ordering endorsement. The appellant was, clearly, not exercising proper control over his vehicle.Each case must, of course, be decided on its own facts. Here I see no reason to differ from the magistrate and accordingly the appealis dismissed.
13 JUL 1970
Appellant in person.
Stratton (D.P.P.) for Respondent.
Oral judgment reduced into writing.