Driver disqualified after overtaking move nearly resulted in head-on collision on A970 out of Lerwick

A dangerous young driver whose overtaking manoeuvre almost resulted in a head-on collision has been fined and disqualified for a year.

Lerwick Sheriff Court heard on Wednesday that Saul Sim, 18, had pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on the A970 earlier this year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court Sim had been involved in two overtaking manoeuvres on the road out of Lerwick towards Tingwall.

He said an oncoming driver who had to brake and veer into a roadside verge suffered a “great deal of anxiety and fright” .

Mr Mackenzie said the oncoming driver’s smart watch recorded a massive spike in his heart rate at the time of the incident.

The court heard that Sim, of The Strand, Tingwall, was driving out of Lerwick at around 7pm on 31st July, when he used the overtaking lane of the A970 in an attempt to pass another vehicle going up hill. 

However, Mr Mackenzie said Sim had to abort the manoeuvre as the lane ended.

The driver he was trying to overtake described Sim as struggling to get in the correct carriageway, the court heard.

Sim then continued along the A970 and attempted another overtaking manoeuvre near to Shetland Golf Club.

Mr Mackenzie said the driver he was overtaking became so alarmed that he started flashing his headlights to warn oncoming vehicles.

He said one witness exclaimed: “There’s going to be a head-on collision”.

Mr Mackenzie said it was fortunate the oncoming driver managed to take evasive action by moving onto the roadside verge.

“A head-on collision was very narrowly avoided,” he added

“It caused that driver a great deal of anxiety and fright.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Sim was only 18 and just passed his test in June 2019.

Mr Allan said his client accepted he was in the wrong and knew he faced  being disqualified from driving for a minimum of a year. 

However, he asked the Sheriff to take into consideration the fact that Sim lived at home with his mother and used his car to attend work at a fish factory in Scalloway. 

“Clearly this will be a salutary experience for him, “ he said.

“It’s one he will carry forward because I’m pretty sure his car insurance will be even less affordable.”

Sheriff Robert McDonald said he would have disqualified Sim for 18 months but reduced it to a year in recognition of his early guilty plea. 

Sim will have to resit an extended driving test before he can get back on the road.

Sheriff McDonald fined Sim £900, reduced from £1,200 in recognition of his early plea. 


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