Cop burns rubber for Cold Chisel

Police feared there would be ‘civil disorder’ if Cold Chisel arrived late to a concert in Margaret River in November.There was no time for cheap wine and three day growth when it came to a police escort getting Cold Chisel to a Margaret River concert on time.
Nanjing Night Net

Yesterday, a police officer was found guilty of reckless driving in Bunbury Magistrates Court for escorting the legendary Aussie band along the Bussell Highway 48km/h over the speed limit last November.

According to Senior Constable Shane Clarke, police feared there would be “civil disorder” if Barnesy and co arrived late.

Mr Clarke’s not guilty plea was rejected by Magistrate Paul Heaney, who fined the officer $1250 and suspended his licence. The magistrate said he regretted having to find the veteran policeman guilty.

Mr Clark has been a traffic officer for 22 years and was one of three policemen caught speeding on Bussell Highway while providing an escort for Cold Chisel about 4pm on November 26.

The court heard police were under strain when concert organisers asked for a police escort to get the band to the venue on time.

However, Prosecutor David Leigh said the situation did not constitute a genuine emergency, and therefore police officers were not exempt from the law.

He said the Cold Chisel concert, which attracted 12,000 punters, coincided with the Margaret River bushfires and 7000 schoolies arriving in Dunsborough.

Sergeant Craig Anderson, who headed the police escort “there were concerns if Barnes was late, there could be problems with the crowd, because of liquor consumption”.

He said the police district office had approved the escort but there was confusion as to whether officers were authorised to drive “with speed”, and he had allowed two officers – one Mr Clarke – to drive 20km/h over the 100km/h speed limit.

Mr Clark said he had followed orders and was a trained and safe driver. He said his actions helped avoid a potential riot at the concert.

The officer has been put on non-operational duties for the duration of the licence suspension.

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