Pensioner nearly caused three head-on crashes as he drifted across A96 repeatedly

John Morrison leaving Elgin Sheriff Court

A pensioner was pulled over by police after they spotted him swerving to avoid three head-on crashes on a busy Moray road.

John Morrison was driving between Lhanbryde and Fochabers, on the A96 Aberdeen to Inverness road, with his wife when he repeatedly drifted into the opposite carriageway.

The 74-year-old narrowly avoided crashing into a van and two cars, and then ran over the end of a crawler lane on the Fochabers bypass – which then becomes an overtaking lane in the opposite direction.

Yesterday, he admitted a charge of careless driving when he appeared at Elgin Sheriff Court.

He also revealed he has already sent his licence to the DVLA for medical checks to see if he is still fit to get behind the wheel – meaning he will have to wait to find out his fate from the court.

Fiscal Kevin Corrins told the court police saw Morrison swerve to avoid a crash.

He said: “On three occasions the car crossed over the centre white line into the opposing carriageway and had to be pulled back.

“On the first occasion there was a white van coming, thereafter there is a red vehicle before there is a car. The accused pulled back into the carriageway in time on each occasion.”

The Ford Fusion then straddled two lanes when approaching the roundabouts at the west side of Mosstodloch and Spey Bay junction and drifted across the road while negotiating the curves.

Mr Corrins also described Morrison taking the length of a crawler lane on the Fochabers bypass to overtake a lorry – eventually running out of road and continuing into an overtaking lane coming the other direction.

After watching the lengthy overtake, police pulled Morrison, of Land Street, Buckie. They carried out a breath-test, which he passed.

Morrison, who was representing himself in court, said Mr Corrins’s account of his driving on September 17 last year “sounded about right”.

He added: “My licence is off for medical checks at the moment.”

Sheriff Olga Pasportnikov told Morrison that it could be “some time” before the DVLA made a ruling on his fitness to drive.

She added: “Depending on whether or not you are allowed to keep you licence will affect what I’m going to do with out.”

Sentence was deferred until June 15 to allow for good behaviour and for DVLA checks to be done.

In January, Elgin 91-year-old Ernest Roberts was banned from driving for 12 months despite already having his medical licence revoked on medical grounds.

The pensioner’s case took nearly two years from when he feel asleep at the wheel to reach its resolution due to prolonged talks with driving authorities.