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Court / Failure to see vehicle in front resulted in ‘dramatic’ crash

A “MOMENT’S inattention” on the Tingwall Straight resulted in a collision and a vehicle rolling into a ditch off the road, Lerwick Sheriff Court has heard.

Arthur Taylor, of Voe, appeared at the court to admit a charge of careless driving, which resulted in injury to two occupants of another vehicle, on the stretch of A970 on 5 December last year.

The 76-year-old was given a fine of £500 and four penalty points.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said Taylor did not see slower moving vehicles in front of him, causing a collision.

He said the incident happened at around 5.15pm.

This collision then caused a “fairly dramatic sequence of events” which resulted in the vehicle in front leaving the road, rolling a number of times and ending up in a ditch on its roof.

Mackenzie said the two occupants of the vehicle were able to remove themselves through a smashed rear window.

Police Scotland released this photo after the accident.

The court heard that it was fortunate there were not more serious injuries. One of the occupants had sore ribs and soft tissue damage, while the other needed some stitches on a laceration on their head.

Taylor’s vehicle left the road and stopped at the verge.

Mackenzie said it was estimated the two vehicles in front of Taylor were travelling at roughly 30 to 35mph.

Police temporarily closed the road in both directions after the accident.

Speaking in mitigation, defence agent Tommy Allan said Taylor said there had been a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction in the dark conditions with bright lights on which affected his attention.

He said by the time he noticed the vehicle in front it was too late to stop.

Allan said his client had 50-plus years of driving experience and had not been involved in any previous accidents.

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The solicitor said Taylor did everything expected of him after the crash, including cooperating with the police.

He added that it was not against a background of bad driving and described it as a “moment’s inattention”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank noted how the court has to impose a sentence based on the degree of carelessness, rather than the consequences of the driving such as injuries.

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