Fined for ‘puerile’ careless driving

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A driver caused a collision with two other cars after behaving aggressively behind the wheel.

Paul Forrest, 22, of Semblister in Bixter tailgated the vehicle in front of him while driving from East Voe to Burra on 2nd January.

He overtook the car before braking severely without good reason.

His behaviour caused the car behind to break sharply. That sparked a “chain reaction” when the car following it ran into its back end.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court today Forrest admitted careless driving – reduced from the more serious charge of dangerous driving.

Forrest was on an undertaking to appear in court a week after the offence happened, where he was subsequently banned from driving after admitting drink driving.

Forrest was fined £500 in court today. He will also have nine penalty points when he gets his licence back in January.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Forrest had displayed “stupidity” behind the wheel. He had been driving with his brother in the car.

“The vehicle that his ire was targeted against was being driven by the current partner of his brother’s ex-partner,” said Mr MacKenzie.

“So it would seem this course of driving was a fairly puerile, immature action to intimidate or send some sort of message to the complainer.

“While on the Burra bridge he has braked sharply in front of the complainer’s car, and that has caused a chain reaction with the car behind in that that vehicle is unable to stop and there is a minor collision.”

The fiscal took issue with defence agent Liam McAllister’s assertion the offence was at the lower end of the scale.

Mr McAllister said Forrest had lost his job in the fishing industry following his disqualification.

But he said his client, who had a “strong work ethic”, had been serving as a handyman, carrying out any sort of work he could get.

There is a possible opening for Forrest on a safety boat should he receive his licence back, as expected, on 9th January.

Mr McAllister had behaved responsibly after the collision had occurred. He said it was recorded in the body of evidence that Forrest had asked if everyone was alright.

Forrest, he said, had later removed himself from the situation because of the background. His brother, the agent added, did not get out of the car.

Mr McAllister urged sheriff Mann to impose penalty points on Forrest’s licence once it is newly returned to him to allow him to take up the opportunity of work.

Sheriff Mann told Forrest: “I don’t accept this was careless driving at the lower end of the scale.

“Although this hasn’t ultimately been described as dangerous driving, I think no one would take issue with that being a colloquial description of the manner of your driving. Any driving of this nature involves danger to members of the public.

“As a result of your behaviour there was a collision involving two other vehicles. It was a very foolish piece of driving and would, in the normal course, result in a period of disqualification.”

However, instead of banning Forrest sheriff Mann imposed the maximum number of penalty points by way of a discount to mark the early plea.

“That means that, once you get your licence back, if you fail fall foul of the road traffic legislation again you will be subject to disqualification under the totting up procedure.”