Dangerous driver banned after tailgating bus and narrowly avoiding head-on crash

A recently qualified driver who tailgated a bus and left a motorist shaken after a near miss has been handed a year-long ban.

Noah Newcombe, 20, was also fined £1,000 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving today (Thursday) at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

The court heard Newcombe, of Lower Hillside, Gulberwick, drove “aggressively” when he joined the A970 at Girlsta at around 5pm on 20th April last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the accused was clearly “extremely anxious” to overtake the queue of seven preceding vehicles.

He said Newcome was tailgating the nearest vehicle so closely that the driver turned on his hazard warning lights – only for them to be ignored.

Newcome then went to overtake two vehicles in the face of another oncoming car.

The court heard both vehicles he was overtaking had to brake harshly to allow Newcombe back in to his lane.

The accused also had to brake sharply, causing him to fishtail and momentarily lose control before rejoining his side of the road.

Mr MacKenzie said the accused continued to drive dangerously, tailgating a bus for around 10km as he sought another opportunity to overtake.

The fiscal said one of drivers he had overtaken reported what had happened at Lerwick police station.

“He is not an individual you would say is fragile but the police officer noted he was still physically shaking from the near miss he had just encountered,” he added.

Defence agent Andrew Seggie said his client accepted it had been an “extremely poorly judged piece of driving”.

He suggested the accused’s lack of experience, having only passed his test in December, played a part in what happened.

Mr Seggie noted the various character references presented to the court in support of his client.

As a newly qualified driver, he said Newcombe would lose his licence and that would have serious consequences for him and his family.

Mr Seggie said his client was an apprentice electrician and had been told by his employer his job would be more difficult during the period of disqualification.

He appealed to the sheriff to impose the minimum period of disqualification due to consequences it will have on his employment and his caring responsibilities for his elderly grandfather.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said it had been a “very dangerous course of conduct” on Newcombe’s part.

“From what I’ve heard, you considered it to was appropriate to drive in this fashion within the first six months of holding a full licence,” he added.

“That is a period in which every young driver should reflect and give careful consideration to their driving ability and how it affects them and other users of the road.”

Newcome will have to pass the extended competency driving test after his 12-month ban.


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