19th November 2017

Car left overturned in ditch after failed dangerous overtaking move

, by , in News, ST Online

A 24-year-old woman has been banned from the road for 12 months after admitting dangerous driving.

Lauren Kelsey, of Leaside, Mossbank, pleaded guilty to overtaking into the face of oncoming traffic when she appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie told the court that the offence occurred at around 5.30pm on 17th January this year near Scatsta Airport.

He said that the driver in front of Kelsey had safely overtaken the vehicle in front when she decided to follow “without any consideration of whether it was safe”.

Kelsey had failed to spot a car hidden by a blind summit just ahead of her meaning that she emerged into the face of an oncoming car.

“She had to sharply go back into the correct lane and the speed that she executed that return to her own lane led her to lose completely any control of the vehicle,” the fiscal said.

Kelsey’s car ended up overturned in a ditch. Mr MacKenzie added that the vehicle she took evasive action to avoid had passed her before she had come to a stop off the road.

This “demonstrates how close she was to this oncoming vehicle,” he said.

Mr MacKenzie also expressed doubts about whether Kelsey accepted that her driving had been unsafe, saying that she had seen video footage of the incident prior to a previous appearance.

When she saw the images “she was upset but still maintained that what she was doing was not dangerous”.

However, defence agent Tommy Allan said that his client understood that she had been “a hair’s breadth” away from causing a serious accident.

He said that Kelsey viewed herself as a “safe driver” having driven without incident for years and also having completed a pass plus driving course.

When reviewing the images with her solicitor “her distress at viewing what was on the screen was apparent”. Referring to the images Mr Allan said that “it quickly becomes apparent… that as she reaches the point of no return a vehicle comes over the summit”.

“She did not set out to drive dangerously,” Mr Allan said.

Sheriff Philip Mann said that the incident had resulted from a “very serious error of judgement” but noted that there was “no suggestion [Kelsey] had been driving dangerously for any period of time before this happened”.

“It can be very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security if you’re following another vehicle in front of you,” he added.

The sheriff banned Kelsey from the road for 12 months, the minimum period available to him, and also fined her £500.