A pair of young drivers were caught red handed as they played leapfrog by overtaking each other in a 20 mph pedestrianised zone.
Sports car driver Daniel Sellick blamed ‘male pride’ for his driving in which he put other road users at risk by speeding through residential streets and trying to overtake motorist Robert Hunt.
They were so keen to get ahead of each other as they sped through the Beacon Heath area of Exeter that neither noticed overtaking a uniformed police officer in an unmarked car.
He was so alarmed by their driving he called for back up from traffic cars then pulled them over when they stopped in a queue of stationary traffic, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Courier Sellick, aged 21, of Chancellor’s Way, Exeter, who was driving an Audi Quattro, and care worker Hunt, aged 27, of Iolanthe Drive, Exeter, who was driving a Rover, both admitted careless driving.
They were both fined £1,000 with £150 costs and given nine points on their licences by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, who chose not to ban them after hearing they would lose their jobs.
He told them:”This was driving bordering on dangerous and for which I considered disqualification, but you both have clean licences. You placed a lot of other motorists at serious risk of injury. It was a bit more than male pride.”
Miss Janice Eagles, prosecuting, said a police officer was driving in Prince Charles Road in Exeter at dusk on Sunday April 21 when he saw first Hunt’s Rover and then Sellick’s Audi pull past him at speed.
He kept his distance but saw them exceeding the 30 mph limit in that street and the 20 mph limit in Calthorpe Road before taking the opportunity to intervene when they were caught in traffic at Uplands Drive.
The officer saw them repeatedly trying to overtake each other and other cars and was so worried about the danger they posed that he pulled them over while waiting for a traffic car to give him back up.
Miss Eagles said:”He was so concerned he took action. He pulled past both and drew level with Hunt, whose facial expression showed shock when he saw the uniform.
“He spoke to both drivers, who did not know each other, and Sellick told him ‘I’ve got no excuse. He overtook me and I suppose it was just male pride’.”
Mr Lee Bremridge, for Hunt, said he works shifts at a care home in Dawlish and would not be able to continue his job if he lost his licence.
Mr Robert Horner, for Sellick, said he has a job with a courier company and could pay a fine out of his wages.