Advocate Francesca Pinel said that friends of her client Peter Colin Nicolas (31), of Rue de Patier, St Saviour, now understood the need to carefully check insurance cover after the defendant pleaded guilty to taking a white Piaggio for a test ride in July.
The court heard that Nicolas had subsequently been to DVS and had a long conversation with them about insurance and now accepts that a ‘riders policy’ covers only the owner of the machine not the bike itself.
And he has also learnt how important it is to carefully complete the driving licence renewal form as he failed to tick a box that would have given him the right to ride a 50 cc machine, the court heard.
He holds a licence to drive a car and had he ticked the correct box at the time of renewal he would have also held a valid moped licence. As a result of the mistake, he pleaded guilty to driving without a valid licence. For the two offences he was fined £550 and had his licence endorsed.
Centenier Amanda Le Brocq said that a States police officer was following the Piaggio on Saturday 21 July on Grande Route de la Côte, St Clement, and had some concerns about the manner in which it was being driven. When Nicolas pulled into Georgetown Garage, the officer followed and spoke to him. The police officer noticed that there was no insurance disc and asked the defendant for his documents.
Advocate Pinel said her client used to have a moped licence and if it had not been for the ‘administrative error’ when filling in the renewal form he would still hold a licence for that category of vehicle.
She told the court that Nicolas was test-driving the Piaggio because he had found out that he may be losing his parking space at his place of employment and it would be easier for him to ride to work.
The lawyer said that the man who gave him the bike to test-ride told the defendant that he held a ‘riders policy’ and that other people had taken the machine out for a test drive. As a result, Nicolas thought at the time that he was covered.
The lawyer said that the defendant worked for a garage door company and drove for his work. She urged the court not to disqualify him as it was likely that he would lose his job if he lost his licence.
The Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, said that it was always riders’ responsibility to check to make sure they are insured.