A driver has been found guilty and banned from driving for a year after disregarding warnings and driving his convertible car with a sofa and a mattress on the soft roof.
In April 2021, Matthew Dummer loaded the items onto the roof of his Renault coupe. PC Tom Van Der Wee of the Roads Policing Unit spotted the parked car outside Dummer’s home in Stedham, West Sussex, and warned the 34-year-old not to drive with such a load.
Ignoring the warning, Dummer was later spotted driving on the A286 in Singleton with the same items on the roof. Consequently, he was issued a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) for dangerous driving.
Dummer, who is unemployed and lives in Common View, Stedham, opted for a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court. On July 6, he was found guilty of the charge and disqualified from driving for 12 months. Additionally, the court ordered him to complete 60 hours of unpaid work and pay £95 in court costs.
After the verdict, PC Van Der Wee expressed his frustration, pointing out that the driver’s actions were blatantly reckless. “It should be clear to any responsible driver how absurd it is to carry such a load on a soft-top car,” he said.
He emphasised that Dummer’s actions endangered others on the road and could have resulted in a fatal accident. He noted that in addition to the driving ban, Dummer will have to retake his driving test and will likely face increased insurance premiums following his disqualification.