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Tayside taxi company owner dodges ban despite fourth speeding offence

Tayside taxi company owner dodges ban despite fourth speeding offence

A Forfar transport company owner caught speeding four times has been allowed to stay on the road – so he can drive a school bus.

Barry Short escaped a driving ban despite racking up 12 points after telling a court disqualification would cause him “exceptional hardship.”

Short – who owns a taxi, minibus and chauffeur drive firm – admitted speeding for the fourth time in just two years when he appeared at Perth’s Justice of the Peace court.

But he told the court that if he was banned from driving under totting up rules his business would fold and he would have to pay off three members of staff.

Short told the court that his only other driver qualified to do local authority school runs was awaiting a hip operation and he would have to do them himself.

The 34-year-old admitted speeding at 71 miles per hour in his Mercedes E350 on a stretch of the M90 between Perth and Edinburgh which had a 50 mph limit on 1 February.

Solicitor Bob Bruce said Short had been driving with the cruise control on and had failed to lower his speed when he entered a 50 mph limit part of the motorway.

Short said: “We have a lot of school contracts. Seventy per cent of our work is council contracts for schools, special needs children and care homes.

“I do a school run morning and afternoon.”

He told the court the loss of his other bus driver through medical incapacity would leave him unable to fulfil contracts.

Short said: “It would finish the company. If I lost my licence we would be shut by Monday. I don’t like to admit it but I’m struggling quite a lot now.”

He admitted his wife was licensed to drive taxis but would have to give up her full-time council job and dance school to cover the loss of his licence.

Mr Bruce said it would cost Short a minimum of £30,000 to hire drivers to replace him and the company was already running a £13,000 loss this year.

“He goes on school runs. If he were to lose his licence the business would go down and the doors would close on Monday.”

JP Allan Robertson was told that Short had already been penalised for speeding in May 2013 and again in May and September last year.

Mr Robertson said: “Whatever my decision is, I’m not sure it’s going to help your business. It seems to be in pretty dire straits as it is.

“There is an extreme amount of stupidity on your part when you were sitting on nine points and yet you get caught again.

“However, I do find that exceptional hardship will occur in this situation. You will receive three points that will take you to 12 – but you will keep your licence.”

Short, Threewells Drive, Forfar, was also fined £270.

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