Dangerous Driving, Campbeltown, 7 March 2018, Licence Saved
This dangerous driving case was another example of saving a client’s licence through case preparation and negotiation rather than a trial.
Motorcyclists and the A83 can be a bad mix. The beautiful scenery, relatively quiet roads and significant police presence can mean a nice day out is completely ruined and treasured driving licences put at risk.
In this case our client and his friend were both keen and highly experienced motorcyclists. Both had advanced safety training and were IAM members. None of that was any assistance to them when they were first clocked by the police using a Prolaser gun and then subsequently followed using a calibrated speedometer.
Speed alone is not usually enough to establish a charge of dangerous driving. In this case, however, the police witnesses spoke to high speeds occurring in the presence of junctions, including concealed junctions. Junctions will always constitute a significant aggravation in a dangerous driving charge based mainly on speed. In this case, however, the speed itself was less than would usually constitute dangerous driving. The Crown was therefore persuaded to accept a plea to the lesser charge of careless driving.
Our client wished to make much of his advanced safety training during his plea in mitigation. It is crucial to tread carefully during such a plea as much of what is said can backfire. The court could easily take the view that it is worse for someone with such knowledge to drive/ride significantly in excess of the speed limit. Some things are better left unsaid or couched in careful terms. In this case, the plea in mitigation had the desired effect as our client escaped with penalty points.
This case was prepared and defended by Steven Farmer at Campbeltown Sheriff Court on 7 March 2018.