AN INDIAN national who yesterday failed to avoid a driving licence suspension feared not being able to drive for a month would add to pressure that could force his family to leave Australia.
Truck driver, Amrit Singh, had his speeding infringement dealt with in Wodonga Court because losing his licence could cost him his job.
And solicitor Tony McCaughey said the Singh family’s predicament had got even worse since he was booked.
He said that within days of Singh being pulled over on the Hume Freeway on June 11, the East Albury family was told they would not get permanent residency.
The Immigration Department told them that was because their baby boy, Aades, has Down syndrome.
He said the couple paid private health insurance so Aades’ condition would not be a burden on the public health system.
Five-month-old Aades was born with two holes in his heart and had already had surgery when his father was pulled over.
At the time, Aades was in a Melbourne hospital crib, his mother, Parminder Singh, at his side.
Mr McCaughey told the court Singh understood a licence suspension was probably inevitable but he was so worried about his family’s future he wanted the matter heard in court in the hope of a better outcome.
Singh was supported yesterday by his wife, nursing their baby.
Singh said the distress of his son’s illness had caused him to speed.
Police said Singh was heading to Albury at 11.25am when he was detected travelling at 132km/h in a 110km/h zone.
When asked why he was so far above the speed limit, he replied: “I’m coming back from Melbourne because my baby’s got a heart (problem). My little baby’s 18 days old.”
Mr McCaughey said Singh was clearly upset with his son’s dual prognosis, especially as Aades faced more surgery for the heart condition.
He said Singh also feared he would lose his job as a long-distance haulage truck driver, or at least face the financial burden of “a month off the track”.
The court was told Singh had not had a single traffic infringement during the six years he had had his job.
Singh, 28, of Lavis Street, pleaded guilty yesterday to exceeding the speed limit by more than 10km/h but less than 25km/h.
Magistrate Ian Watkins said Singh clearly had an excellent driving record.
He said he understood the “distressing family circumstances” Singh found himself in.
But he pointed out that those circumstances made it even more important for Singh to drive safely and within the law.
Mr Watkins said he hoped the incident would lead to Singh taking “more care on the road”.
He suspended Singh’s licence for a mandatory one month and placed him on a 12-month bond, without conviction.