VIDEO: England rugby star Martin Johnson banned from driving after speeding on M5 in Somerset

England rugby star Martin Johnson banned from driving

England rugby star Martin Johnson banned from driving

First published in News
Last updated
Bridgwater Mercury: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by

ENGLAND'S Rugby World Cup winning captain Martin Johnson was yesterday (October 7) banned from driving after he was clocked doing 107mph on the M5 past Bridgwater.

Johnson was pulled over between Junctions 24 and 23 of the M5 by an officer in a marked police car as he drove his wife and two children home from a break in Devon.

The 43-year-old, of Mowsley, near Lutterworth, Leicester-shire, admitted speeding at Taunton Magistrates’ Court and was banned from driving for 49 days, fined £800 and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge and £35 costs.

The court heard that Johnson, who had three points for speeding in 2010, was “overtaking all other traffic” in the third lane at 107mph in his Range Rover at about 10pm on August 13 following a break in the family cottage near Sal-combe.

Stephen Gooden, defending, told magistrates: “He admitted his guilt at the first available opportunity and co-operated with police.

“When he was stopped, the traffic was light and he was in a very powerful vehicle.

“He wasn’t going to risk his wife, daughter and son’s safety.

“He understands the seriousness of the matter.”

Mr Gooden said Johnson’s primary occupation had been captain of England rugby team, who he led to World Cup glory in Australia in 2003, and then as its manager until 2011, when he retired.

He is currently self-employed and works irregularly, earning £55,000 to £60,000 a year from media work and other sources.

He added that Johnson “uses his name very much for the benefit of others and is heavily involved in charities up and down the country”.

After leaving court, Johnson, who won 84 England and eight British Lions caps and played his club rugby for Leicester, headed off by train to attend a charity dinner in London and he is due at a number of other events this week.

Following the hearing, Jane Hofmeister, whose 13-year-old daughter Amy was mown down by a speeding driver racing his girlfriend along Blackbrook Way, Taunton, in June 2011, said: “It isn’t a good example from somebody in the public eye. Speed kills – end of. We have speed limits for a reason.

“Driving in excess of 100mph just isn’t acceptable – you’re putting yourself, your passengers and everybody else at risk.”

Comments (8)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:08am Tue 8 Oct 13

Koenigninners says...

“He wasn’t going to risk his wife, daughter and son’s safety.' - Doing 107mph in a Range Rover is a pretty BIG risk, especially as they do NOT stop as quick as a normal saloon car. If there had been an accident ahead, there is a good chance a car in front would have stopped and he would have ploughed into the back of it at speed.
“He wasn’t going to risk his wife, daughter and son’s safety.' - Doing 107mph in a Range Rover is a pretty BIG risk, especially as they do NOT stop as quick as a normal saloon car. If there had been an accident ahead, there is a good chance a car in front would have stopped and he would have ploughed into the back of it at speed. Koenigninners
  • Score: 7

10:32am Tue 8 Oct 13

souwesterly says...

Why on earth do we need a video of someone going to court?
This guy is "headline news" only because he's reputedly well known (if you follow rugby) - otherwise he'd be just one of many drivers who get nicked for speeding.
As for doing 107 mph - have you driven up or down the M5 on a nice day.....?
You'll cruise along with the rest of the pack and before long you realise you're all doing 85 or even 90 mph. Occasionally the pack will slow down as they come across a cruising cop car - and then pick up speed again. And every so often someone will zoom past, obviously well exceeding the already broken speed limit.
Those people are almost ten a penny, as they once said.....
This guy happened not to notice that he was being followed (that was his biggest offence!) and got nicked unlike so many other speeders.
But apart from that, this is hardly newsworthy.
Why on earth do we need a video of someone going to court? This guy is "headline news" only because he's reputedly well known (if you follow rugby) - otherwise he'd be just one of many drivers who get nicked for speeding. As for doing 107 mph - have you driven up or down the M5 on a nice day.....? You'll cruise along with the rest of the pack and before long you realise you're all doing 85 or even 90 mph. Occasionally the pack will slow down as they come across a cruising cop car - and then pick up speed again. And every so often someone will zoom past, obviously well exceeding the already broken speed limit. Those people are almost ten a penny, as they once said..... This guy happened not to notice that he was being followed (that was his biggest offence!) and got nicked unlike so many other speeders. But apart from that, this is hardly newsworthy. souwesterly
  • Score: -4

10:39am Tue 8 Oct 13

Mi_Coc says...

I like how solicitor suggest his car is powerful and therefore suggesting it would be more aggravating had the vehicle been low powered. ??

I think it is more a a case of laws are for the poor to obey and the guidance of the rich!
I like how solicitor suggest his car is powerful and therefore suggesting it would be more aggravating had the vehicle been low powered. ?? I think it is more a a case of laws are for the poor to obey and the guidance of the rich! Mi_Coc
  • Score: 4

2:51pm Tue 8 Oct 13

CarterMagna says...

His defence is in the very first paragraph, he was doing 107mph going past Bridgwater. You don't want to be hanging around there.
His defence is in the very first paragraph, he was doing 107mph going past Bridgwater. You don't want to be hanging around there. CarterMagna
  • Score: 4

4:38pm Tue 8 Oct 13

Tinhharris says...

Koenigninners wrote:
“He wasn’t going to risk his wife, daughter and son’s safety.' - Doing 107mph in a Range Rover is a pretty BIG risk, especially as they do NOT stop as quick as a normal saloon car. If there had been an accident ahead, there is a good chance a car in front would have stopped and he would have ploughed into the back of it at speed.
Totally agree. 107 is rather fast southwesterly.....an
d you read the story despite it being a non story? I agree many people do exceed the 70 MPH limit, but is that an excuse? Especially when other road users limited to 60 are perfectly entitled to use the first two lanes.....what if a lorry misjudges moving out into the second lane whilst being approached by others doing 90 plus in the second and third lanes? Remember the M% crash 2 years ago?

Whilst a lot of cars are capable of traveling in good conditions above 70, many other motorway users are not. The law needs to be black and white, and enforced, else its pointless.
[quote][p][bold]Koenigninners[/bold] wrote: “He wasn’t going to risk his wife, daughter and son’s safety.' - Doing 107mph in a Range Rover is a pretty BIG risk, especially as they do NOT stop as quick as a normal saloon car. If there had been an accident ahead, there is a good chance a car in front would have stopped and he would have ploughed into the back of it at speed.[/p][/quote]Totally agree. 107 is rather fast southwesterly.....an d you read the story despite it being a non story? I agree many people do exceed the 70 MPH limit, but is that an excuse? Especially when other road users limited to 60 are perfectly entitled to use the first two lanes.....what if a lorry misjudges moving out into the second lane whilst being approached by others doing 90 plus in the second and third lanes? Remember the M% crash 2 years ago? Whilst a lot of cars are capable of traveling in good conditions above 70, many other motorway users are not. The law needs to be black and white, and enforced, else its pointless. Tinhharris
  • Score: 5

10:49pm Tue 8 Oct 13

boliston says...

If he has an accident at 107mph in his very powerful Chelsea Tractor he probably knows full well that his wife, son & daughter will probably fare a *lot* better than the occupants of any other "ordinary" vehicles that have the misfortune of being involved.
If he has an accident at 107mph in his very powerful Chelsea Tractor he probably knows full well that his wife, son & daughter will probably fare a *lot* better than the occupants of any other "ordinary" vehicles that have the misfortune of being involved. boliston
  • Score: 3

12:04pm Wed 9 Oct 13

souwesterly says...

Tinhharris - sorry, I don't see 107 mph as particularly fast, especially considering a quiet motorway and a powerful (probably modern and well maintained) vehicle.
I speak as one who's well exceeded that speed in Germany and Australia - and once even on the M5. I'd borrowed a friend's Mazda Sport and 'opened her up' to see how well the car went. 120 came up in moments - much to my shock....but honestly, it didn't feel particularly fast at all.
Speed is relative - 40 in a 20 mph zone is fast - 100+ in a 70 mph (or 80?) zone isn't.
Tinhharris - sorry, I don't see 107 mph as particularly fast, especially considering a quiet motorway and a powerful (probably modern and well maintained) vehicle. I speak as one who's well exceeded that speed in Germany and Australia - and once even on the M5. I'd borrowed a friend's Mazda Sport and 'opened her up' to see how well the car went. 120 came up in moments - much to my shock....but honestly, it didn't feel particularly fast at all. Speed is relative - 40 in a 20 mph zone is fast - 100+ in a 70 mph (or 80?) zone isn't. souwesterly
  • Score: 1

3:44pm Mon 14 Oct 13

Tinhharris says...

Sorry I do disagree, I do think 100 plus in a 70 is fast, I do understand your principle, but 107 is still 37 mph fast than 70. Some people will be travelling at 50 or 60 in classic cars, lorries ect quiet legit. I have never driven and have no knowledge of German Autobahns, so can't comment. I do see where you are coming from, fast cars are generally maintained, and generally are very capable of stopping quicker than others. But i am not convinced that it is safe, firstly the motorways are rarely quiet enough during day light hours, secondly not everyone uses speed responsibly, people tend to be very impatient, 3rdly people do not always maintain their car as they should, 4thly people do stupid things in cars....it might not be the speeding driver that starts the chain of events that lead to an accident, but the fact that the speeding driver can't stop in time due to his speed makes the accident less avoidable.

Besides i don't know why drivers are so impatient and are in such a rush these days! I am not a slow driver by far, but people seem to be so uptight and in such a rush to get home or to the supermarket or where ever i see them pulling up after racing past everyone at well over the speed limit!
Sorry I do disagree, I do think 100 plus in a 70 is fast, I do understand your principle, but 107 is still 37 mph fast than 70. Some people will be travelling at 50 or 60 in classic cars, lorries ect quiet legit. I have never driven and have no knowledge of German Autobahns, so can't comment. I do see where you are coming from, fast cars are generally maintained, and generally are very capable of stopping quicker than others. But i am not convinced that it is safe, firstly the motorways are rarely quiet enough during day light hours, secondly not everyone uses speed responsibly, people tend to be very impatient, 3rdly people do not always maintain their car as they should, 4thly people do stupid things in cars....it might not be the speeding driver that starts the chain of events that lead to an accident, but the fact that the speeding driver can't stop in time due to his speed makes the accident less avoidable. Besides i don't know why drivers are so impatient and are in such a rush these days! I am not a slow driver by far, but people seem to be so uptight and in such a rush to get home or to the supermarket or where ever i see them pulling up after racing past everyone at well over the speed limit! Tinhharris
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree