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Careless Driving, Dumfries, 12 May 2017, Not Proven

Our client was a motorcyclist, charged with careless driving and prosecuted at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

The circumstances were that our client moved out to overtake a tractor at a junction. The tractor proceeded to turn right at the junction, cut across our client and there was a subsequent collision. No charges were brought against the driver of the tractor. The Crown’s justification was that our client was driving at excessive speed for the road conditions, attempt to overtake a tractor while it was already turning right and therefore cause the collision.

Our client’s position was that he had already commenced his overtake before the van began its manoeuvre. The only evidence to contradict that came from the tractor driver himself – not the most reliable source you may say. The police checked his vehicle and confirmed that his indicator light was working and that there was evidence it had been used (it was still lit). However the police had to accept that they could not say when exactly the indicator light was on or whether our client had already commenced his overtake. The driver of the van claimed to have checked his mirrors but also had to accept that our client must have been behind him or have fallen from the sky!

As for excessive speed, the Crown’s evidence of that came from an old lady who spoke to a motorbike overtaking her 2-3 miles prior to the scene of the accident. She did not know where the bike had gone and could not describe either the bike or the rider! As we submitted to the sheriff, there is evidence and then there is pure speculation.

A verdict of Not Proven was returned.

This case was prepared and defended by Steven Farmer at Dumfries Sheriff Court over a number of days, concluding on 12 May 2017.