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Careless Driving, Edinburgh, 13 October 2017, Case Not Called

Our client was a motorcyclist. he was being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention (Road Traffic Act 1988, section 3). The basis of the allegation was that he attempted to overtake at a junction while another vehicle was turning right. He had to take emergency evasive action which resulted in injury to his pillion passenger.

This case was similar to another we had won in Dumfries and we were confident of an acquittal. However it has to be said that it is never a good idea to overtake in the vicinity of a junction. While the road markings may allow it, it is also contrary to guidance in the Highway Code. The court is entitled to take the recommendations of the Highway Code into account (Road Traffic Act 1988 section 38).

In this case, however, there were no warning signs for the junction and it was poorly marked. It only became visible once you were very close to it. An expert report confirmed this and was disclosed to the Crown. The issue therefore became about who had right of way. In this case, BOTH vehicles were entitled to be in the opposing carriageway. The question, therefore, was who was there first? Had our client already moved out and commenced his overtake?  Or had the other driver signalled his intention to turn right prior to this?

After discussing all the evidence with the Crown, the Procurator Fiscal Depute accepted that the evidence was inconclusive in this regard and agreed not to proceed with the case.

This case was defended at Edinburgh Sheriff Court by Steven Farmer on 13 October 2017