Dr Maria Hadjicosta has been banned from driving after being caught speeding in her Mercedes eight times – by the same camera
A top children’s doctor has been banned from driving after being caught speeding in her Mercedes eight times – by the same camera.
Paediatrician Dr Maria Hadjicosta, 45, was repeatedly flashed by a device enforcing a temporary 50mph limit on a stretch of motorway near Manchester as she drove to a hospital.
Over a three month period the camera installed between Junction 18 and 19 of the Eastbound carriageway of the M60 flashed the Cypriot doctor again and again as she travelled in her Mercedes E250 at speeds of up to 69mph.
She later claimed she did not understand the temporary 50mph limit and thought she could travel at ‘normal speed’ if she was driving at night.
At Manchester magistrates’ court Hadjicosta, who is training to be a consultant at Royal Oldham Hospital, admitted speeding but urged JPs not to ban her from driving – claiming she would suffer ‘exceptional hardship’ and would be unable to treat patients.
She also claimed there was no public transport ‘available’ for her.
But magistrates banned her from the roads for 21 days under the totting up procedure and ordered her to pay £1,615 in costs.
The paediatrician claimed she did not understand the temporary 50mph limit and thought she could travel at ‘normal speed’ if she was driving at night. But she was banned from the roads
It is thought she will still have 24 points on her licence after the ban ends.
Under current motoring laws drivers face a minimum six months ban if they clock up 12 points or more in the space of three years.
The temporary speed limit had been introduced in 2014 as part of a £208m scheme to upgrade a 17 mile stretch of the M60 and M62 and create an extra lane.
The project is due for completion next year.
Hadjicosta from Newham, east London, was caught between April 15 and July 10 this year whilst living with a friend in the Manchester area.
The court heard her speeds ranged from 57mph to 69mph.
Hadjicosta was flashed on the M60 near Manchester (file photo). Magistrates told her as a doctor she should know the terrible impact speeding can have
Defending, Nick Terry told the court most of the offences took place at night and Hadjicosta was not aware the speeding restrictions were still in place.
She travels frequently for work and switches between hospitals meaning she needs a car and banning her from the road would endanger her livelihood, he said.
But passing sentence chairman of the bench, Marie Brinicombe, told Hadjicosta: ‘We find the exceptional hardship will be caused to the patients not you.
‘Two of these speeds were quite high and as a doctor you should know the effect that road accidents can have.’