A foreign motorist misread her Sat Nav system and ended-up driving the wrong way down an M1 motorway slip road as she was heading to her first day at work.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on November 7 how Hungarian Mira Halek, 31, drove down the Junction 28 slip road of the M1 motorway, at South Normanton, and stopped in the hatch markings when she realised she was driving towards on-coming traffic.
Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett said: “Traffic officers from Highways England were driving on the southbound M1 motorway and they were just beyond Tibshelf Services approaching Junction 28 and the slip road when they instantly saw a vehicle at the bottom of the slip road facing the wrong way.”
Mr Hollett added that Halek’s Volvo had stopped just short of the main carriageway in a narrow area of hatch markings and the defendant was spoken to and police attended.
Halek, of Glover Close, Annesley, told the police she had been in the UK for just a week and it had only been her second time on UK roads.
She added that she had been driving to her new job in Alfreton on her first day at work and she had never driven on that road before.
Halek also explained that she had been following her Sat Nav on her mobile phone having travelled down the A38 to Junction 28 and she took the wrong road having been advised to take an exit road.
The defendant, who is of previous good character and had a clean driving licence, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after the incident on October 17.
Defence solicitor Karl Meakin said: “This is more a case of inexperience rather than irresponsibility and it was only the second time she had driven in this country and the first time she had driven unattended and she was confused by the roundabout system.
“Immediately after taking the turn-off she realised she was going the wrong way and rather than blindly continuing she brought the car to a halt in what she considered to be the first safe place.”
Magistrates, who stated the incident could have had catastrophic consequences, sentenced Halek to a 12 month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work and she was banned from driving for 12 months.
Halek must also pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.