Driver braked sharply as ‘red mist descended’

A DRIVER from Wester Skeld who put on the brakes sharply after becoming frustrated by a car “tailgating” him has been given nine penalty points and a £1,000 fine.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Tuesday that Spencer Truman was lucky not to have caused a serious accident on the A971 at Weisdale on 23 February.

The 44 year old admitted driving without due care or attention and repeatedly braking excessively, causing following vehicles to brake harshly and perform emergency stops to avoid colliding with him and preceding vehicles.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Truman was driving with a passenger when two other vehicles ended up behind him.

He said “for some reason” Truman took exception to the vehicle behind his and “slammed” on the brakes without warning.

The following vehicle was far away enough to perform an emergency stop and avoid a collision.

But when Truman carried on again, he performed the same manoeuvre.

Mackenzie said it was a “classic case of the red mist descending” and described Truman – who told police that he was being tailgated – as a man who gets agitated quickly.

Defence agent Gregor Kelly said his client was stressed at the time due to work issues and was “dazzled” in the dark by headlights behind him.

He described the incident as a “source of regret” for Truman and argued that a driving licence was essential for him as he worked as a meter reader across the isles.

Sheriff Philip Mann said it was a “really bad piece of driving” that nearly warranted the more serious dangerous driving charge.

“It’s absolutely not the thing to do if someone is tailgating you,” he said. “You could have caused a really bad accident.”

Sheriff Mann decided against disqualifying Truman – who was described as the sole “breadwinner” in his house – due to the effect it would have on his family.