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Teenager’s driving was ‘not so much dangerous as insane’

Lerwick Sheriff Court.
Lerwick Sheriff Court.

A 17-year-old motorist whose danger driving was described as “insane” has been ordered to appear before a sheriff.

The teenager, who cannot be named as he is under the age of 18, forced a number of cars to swerve out the way and drove on the wrong side of the road just before Christmas last year.

He also overtook cars while approaching a blind corner and drove at excessive speed, all of which occurred “in close proximity to pedestrians, cyclists and children” shortly before 9am.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie said it was “quite inexplicable behaviour” at a time when children, some of them cycling, were heading to school.

The teen pleaded guilty to driving dangerously on an unclassified road at Sandwick and on the A970 towards Lerwick on 21 December last year.

He admitted overtaking another car with his windows steamed up restricting visibility, repeatedly driving on the wrong side of the road and overtaking in the face of oncoming traffic, requiring other drivers to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

‘Absolutely unbelievable’ driving

The incident began at around 8.50am when a driver was about to turn right from a junction near Sandwick Garage and noticed the accused’s vehicle on the wrong side of the road parallel to her and in the process of overtaking her.

Heading up the hill out of Sandwick, the teenager attempted to take a sharp corner at speed, skidding into the path of an oncoming vehicle whose driver took evasive action and was seen shaking his head at the manner of the driving.

The teenager carried on driving north and overtook another vehicle “at speed” going through Cunningsburgh. The road, which was busy at the time, has numerous junctions as well as a primary school.

At a subsequent junction, he veered onto the wrong side of the road and attempted to overtake another vehicle that was attempting to turn right onto the A970.

Heading north towards Quarff he tried to overtake four vehicles heading into a blind corner, resulting in all four having to “break sharply” and a driver coming the other way “effectively having to make an emergency stop” to avoid a crash, the fiscal said.

The driver, who had two young children in the car with her, was “considerably shaken up”.

When spoken to later that day, the fiscal said, the teenager told police he “can’t believe I’ll lose my licence” over “one silly manoeuvre”.

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank said what he had heard was not so much dangerous as “insane” and “absolutely unbelievable” driving.

He imposed an interim disqualification and deferred sentence for a criminal justice social enquiry report.

The teenager will be required to appear in person at Lerwick Sheriff Court on March 16.


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