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Road traffic act section 3, Paisley JP, August 2016

Our client was charged with a contravention of the Road Traffic Act, section 3 (driving without due care and attention). He was found Not Guilty after trial.

The only things not in dispute were that our client was making a right-hand turn. An oncoming car thereafter swerved to avoid a collision and crashed into a nearby stone wall. The complainer’s position was that he began his maneuver without stopping/checking, forcing her to swerve and collide with the wall. Our client’s position was that he did stop and check. However his view of the road ahead was severely restricted by a blind crest. The complainer, according to our client, came over the crest far too fast. Realising he did not have time to make the turn, he braked to a halt a little way over the opposing carriageway.

The complainer’s car was embedded into the wall it had struck. The damage caused was suggestive of a high speed impact.

Both the complainer and our client gave evidence. Both were afforded a degree of support from an off-duty police officer who witnessed the accident.  To prove a case in terms of the Road Traffic Act section 3, the Crown must prove that the accused’s driving fell below the standard of a careful and competent driver. Our submission was that our client could not be blamed in any way. By braking he had taken the only possible action that he could. The blame lay with the complainer for driving over a blind crest at excessive speed. The court agreed and our client was acquitted.