An unlicensed driver who was carrying passengers "panicked" when police tried to pull him over.

Quentin Leigh Te Moana had two other people with him when he was driving on Alma Rd on May 20.

A police patrol tried to stop Te Moana but he fled, accelerating through a "Give Way"-controlled intersection and driving on the wrong side of a traffic island.

He was seen overtaking other cars and going at speeds up to 90km/h, police prosecutor Sergeant Stephen Butler told Whanganui District Court on Tuesday.

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When Te Moana was caught, he said he "panicked" when he saw the police.

He pleaded guilty to reckless driving, failing to stop, and being an unlicensed driver failing to comply.

Defence lawyer Richard Leith said Te Moana had three previous convictions from last year for similar offending.