Eight young men had the cases against them dismissed last week after they were charged for driving with blue headlights.
Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale referred to Traffic Regulations, which state, ‘No mechanically propelled vehicle other than an emergency vehicle shall be equipped with any external light of a colour other than white, red or amber’.
The magistrate said she did not think headlights are external lights. ‘I am well aware they shine externally, but they are part and parcel of the car.’ She suggested external would refer to something affixed to the car, like a spotlight or lights on top of the vehicle.
She invited Crown Prosecutor Kathleen Ryan to appeal her decision to dismiss the charges.
‘Please change the law. Or get the Grand Court to say the law is fine as it is…. I will not be offended. But we need certainty.’
The alternative, she said, would be interpretations of the law varying from court to court and lawyer to lawyer. That situation would be unfair to the public.
One young man, facing two charges for his blue headlights, told the court his vehicle was a Honda Civic that came from the US with the blue headlights.
‘You see that? It’s manufactured that way,’ the magistrate replied. ‘I say the light is integral to the car.’
She told the men they were free to go, but they might be brought back if a sergeant took the matter on appeal. An alternative, she suggested, was to have the Attorney General issue a written statement.