Melissa Rose Te Amo' />

A Palmerston North courier driver's first day on the job ended with a crash and ultimately a conviction for careless driving.

Melissa Rose Te Amo, who was on her learner's licence, was charged after failing to display L plates and crashing into a colleague's vehicle as they were racing to get to a job, the Manawatu Standard reported.

In November last year, Te Amo was following her City Sprint Courier workmate so closely that when he braked suddenly she ploughed into the back of his car, breaking the arm of another colleague who was in the passenger seat beside her.

Te Amo, 29, pleaded guilty in Palmerston North District Court yesterday to a charge of careless use of a motor vehicle causing injury. She was sentenced to 80 hours' community work, ordered to pay emotional reparation of $750 to the injured passenger, and disqualified from driving for seven months.

Outside court, City Sprint Couriers manager and Te Amo's mother Carolyn Te Amo said she knew Te Amo was on a learner's licence when she hired her, but decided to give her a chance as she was already booked in to sit her restricted licence test. "She was not meant to be driving that day but when she went out on that job the woman who was training her said she had a terrible headache so Melissa offered to drive."

- NZPA