Ban for woman doing 10mph on motorway

  • Stephanie Cole drove at 10mph on M32
  • She admits she shouldn't have been on motorway
  • After seven-day ban she must retake driving test
A woman has been banned from driving for seven days after driving along the M32 near Bristol at 10mph.

Stephanie Cole, 58, was found straddling the hard shoulder and inside lane of the motorway at 10mph when she was stopped by police.

Cole, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, admitted to North Avon Magistrates Court that she drove without reasonable consideration and will have to retake her driving test after serving the ban.

'I really didn't want to go on the motorway, but I had to go for an ink cartridge,' said Cole, who had a sign in the back of her car saying: 'I don't do fast. If I'm too slow for you, don't hoot, just overtake!'

'I didn't know any other way to get there, so I went on the motorway. I was there by mistake. It just felt awful. I didn't know what to do and I panicked.'

Minimum speed limits
The case has sparked calls for a minimum speed limit to be introduced on major roads, but safety campaigners have ruled this out because of fears that drivers would try to keep their speed up when the roads are congested.

Did the punishment fit the crime?
Cole's sentence has also caused controversy.

A spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: 'This case sends out a very strange message to drivers. Mrs Cole was not breaking the speed limit, nor endangering anyone with her actions, but she received a seven-day ban. Yet we commonly see drivers caught at 80 or 90mph get away with a fine or three points.

'While it is not common to encounter someone travelling at 10mph on a motorway, a competent driver should always be looking well ahead and predicting when they need to overtake a slower vehicle.'

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