I was lucky to have been referred to an Iwi Community Panel instead of Court and I have definitely learnt from my mistakes.
I was driving at 130km/h and I knew I was going too fast.
I just wasn’t thinking. As I went over a hill I felt something give way and the car began to slide. The car slid into a ditch, jumped over a fence and then landed in a paddock, went up into the air and then onto a shed.
I suffered a broken wrist, lacerations and a collapsed lung and I was off work for six weeks.
I had to go to the Police Station to give a statement. I was told I’d be charged with careless driving but then told I’d be referred to an Iwi Community Panel.
I didn’t know what an Iwi Community Panel was and I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. But, I was pleasantly surprised. The panel members put me at ease straight away. They asked me about what happened on the day, what things are like now, and if I had learnt from my mistake.
I was asked to write an apology letter to the property owner and complete a defensive driving course. The course was really helpful and I learnt a lot from it. It taught me that it’s not just about getting in a car and driving, but you have to think about others on the road and your own actions behind the wheel.
I was really pleased with the outcome. Obviously, it would have been better if I didn’t speed in the first place! I really learnt from the panel, to think more about my driving than I used to.
Having no conviction is a big deal for me as I would have struggled to travel overseas and if I had lost my licence I would have lost my job. My future is looking much brighter since I went to the panel.