Don McLean Fined For Speeding In School Zone

Don McLean Fined For Speeding In School Zone

American Pie singer Don McLean may have driven his "Chevy to the levee" in his iconic 1970s hit but now he has paid a different kind of levy for his driving.

The 67-year-old was fined \$400 (£253) in Maine for driving his Chrysler too fast through a school zone on Route 90 by Camden Hills Regional High School.

McLean, who lives in the nearby coastal town of Camden, contested the charge following the incident in September, saying school zone warning lights were not flashing.

Witnesses at the 40-minute trial at Rockland District Court on Thursday said they were flashing.

The Bangor Daily News reported that the ticket was issued by Rockport police officer Craig Cooley who said he was parked beside the road and saw the lights.

The paper reported that police evidence was that McLean was driving 43 mph when the limit was 15.

The lights are made to flash and reduce the speed limit to 15 miles per hour in the school zone when students are travelling to and from school.

Otherwise, the speed limit on that stretch of road is 45 miles per hour, said the paper.

Keith Rose, director of operations and maintenance of the Five-Town Community School District, was called as a defence witness.

He testified that the lights begin flashing by the school at 7.10am and stop at 7.40am. McLean was pulled over by the officer at 7.41am, the paper reported.

Judge Patricia Worth found McLean was speeding in the school zone but lowered what would be a \$515 fine if uncontested to \$400.

McLean, who was represented by a lawyer, immediately paid up.

The singer-songwriter achieved global fame in 1971 with his hit American Pie, about the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash in 1959 - The Day The Music Died.

He has continued to regularly produce albums ever since but has not repeated his 1970s chart success.

Last November he was among the celebrities who entertained millions of revellers at New York's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.