25th September 2017

Speeding motorist is spared a driving ban

, by , in Headlines, News, ST Online

A teenage driver put the foot down when he got behind the wheel in the early hours of 5th September.

But Michael Pottinger’s “horrendously fast” driving caught the attention of a police officers, and he was pulled over for driving at grossly excessive speed.

Pottinger, 19, of Bridge End in Burra admitted a careless driving charge when he appeared in the dock. The offence happened on the main road between Cunningsburgh and Gulberwick.

The court heard he had come close to facing the more serious allegation of dangerous driving.

However, the Crown accepted Pottinger had done everything that could be asked of him – even to the extent of sitting a “Pass Plus” driving course.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Pottinger had taken the opportunity to take a drive on a quiet road after midnight.

“He did not notice the marked police car some distance behind him. He had been driving at a horrendously fast speed”.

Mr MacKenzie added Pottinger had taken steps subsequent to the incident to address his offending.

“He accepts and understands his driving was unacceptable, and has taken significant steps to rectify that. I don’t think more could be asked of him in that regard.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Pottinger, who is in his third year as a marine apprentice, owed the fiscal “a debt of gratitude” for the way the case had been handled.

The agent added Pottinger was working for his father while he carried out his apprenticeship. But he said that his father was offering him no special favours, insisting he “makes demands” of Pottinger “and requires that he be able to work independently”.

“There is no guarantee he will be able to hold down his job if he is not able to drive.”

He added Pottinger had co-operated fully with police at the time of the incident.

“He didn’t try to be cheeky with them or suggest he’d done nothing wrong.”

The court heard the offence happened within two years of Pottinger passing his test, which meant he was at risk of losing his licence if he was handed six penalty points.

Mr Allan urged the sheriff not to ban Pottinger from the roads.

“It has been made absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, clear to Mr Pottinger that, although people have bent over backwards for him to help him, he could not expect that to happen again.

“Against all of that I’m asking you to take the view that five points, and a financial penalty, would be appropriate”

Sheriff Philip Mann told Pottinger his offence could have merited disqualification.

“On the other hand you have taken significant steps, which should hopefully ensure the public will be kept safe.”

He handed him five penalty points and fined him £750 for the offence.