It’s a hefty fine for a man who was barrelling down a highway in a car with faulty brakes.
“You were going along in a vehicle at an incredible rate of speed which is virtually — it’s like a sled — virtually incapable of stopping,” Judge Don Slough remarked in Brandon provincial court as he imposed the fine.
Jobanjit Singh Bhangu, 25, was spotted on May 24 driving along the Trans-Canada Highway near Virden at 169 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.
Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup said the car was travelling so fast, it seemed like other cars on the highway were standing still.
The Mountie who pulled over Bhangu seized the vehicle for inspection. It was in rough shape — among its many problems was a need to replace both rear rotors, and a rear brake pad was completely worn out.
The car was in such poor condition it couldn’t be put back on the road. Bhangu, who lived in Saskatchewan at the time, sold it to the towing company for $150 and took a bus to Regina.
Bhangu, who currently lives in British Columbia, pleaded guilty on Thursday to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.
Lonstrup said Bhangu — who is originally from India — was allowed to plead to that charge, rather than dangerous driving under the Criminal Code, to spare him a criminal conviction that would affect his immigration status.
Bhangu is a landed immigrant who has sought permanent residency status. A criminal conviction would make him inadmissible to Canada, Lonstrup said.
“The spectre of him losing eligibility in Canada is more than the Crown attorney would have intended,” Lonstrup said. “Therefore, in these special circumstances alone, we’re prepared to take the provincial statutory offence in lieu, which has no apparent immigration consequences.”
Based on an agreement between the Crown and defence, Slough fined Bhangu $3,000 and banned him from driving for a year.
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Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 12, 2014