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Dangerous Driving, Wick, 30 August 2017, Licence Saved

This was a case which resolved prior to trial on 30 August 2017 at Wick Sheriff Court.

The allegation of dangerous driving was that our client overtook another vehicle when it was unsafe to do so. He did not have a clear view of the road ahead, crossed into the path of an oncoming vehicle and, it was alleged, caused that vehicle to take “emergency avoidance action to avoid a collision”.

The entire incident was captured on dashcam and shown to be almost entirely true. The only exception was, arguably, there was no emergency avoidance action. It was unquestionably a poor piece of driving and an error of judgement on the part of our client. The test for dangerous driving in Scotland is that the driving falls far below the standard of a reasonable and competent driver and it would be obvious to such a driver that the driving was dangerous (Road Traffic Act 1988, section 2A). On the video evidence, the Crown clearly had a strong case that the test was met.

Fortunately for our client we identified a potential error in the preparation of the Crown case. This error meant there was a chance of a legal defence to the charge against our client. However to go to trial would have been a high-risk strategy. A decision was therefore made to approach the Crown, make them aware of the difficulty and see if the case could be resolved. This indeed was the case. Our client pleaded Guilty to the lesser charge of careless driving. He received a modest 4 points on his licence, a massive reduction from even the minimum penalty for dangerous driving.

Licence saved.

This case was defended by Steven Farmer on 30 August 2017. Not every case requires a trial and this was one where it was best avoided. The last thing we wished was for the court to see the damning footage we had seen. Fortunately a legal technicality meant we could still save our client’s licence.