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HGV driver who crashed into oncoming lorry as he overtook cyclist fined

Cyclist came off bike as he tried to avoid debris in road following collision in Scotland’s Highland region

An HGV driver who crashed into an oncoming lorry as he attempted to overtake a cyclist, causing the rider to sustain an injury after he fell off his bike, has been fined by a court in Scotland.

Jamie Taylor, aged 42 and from Inverness, admitted careless driving when he appeared today at Tain Sheriff Court, reports the Northern Times.

Hilary Michopoulou, prosecuting, told the court that the crash happened at around 12.45pm on 11 June 2020 on the B9165 near Station Road, Fearn, Easter Ross, and described the road as having a series of bends.

She said: “The accused performed an overtaking manoeuvre on a cyclist who was on a short, straight section of road.

“There was a lorry coming the other way and the accused was unable to complete the overtaking manoeuvre and both lorries collided, knocking off each other’s wing mirrors.

“Debris from both vehicles was thrown on to the carriageway and the complainer – the cyclist – crashed into the wing mirrors on the road. He tried to take evasive action but that caused him to fall off his bike.”

Paramedics who attended the scene took the cyclist to hospital where he was treated for grazing on his left arm, leg and knee, and he was discharged later that day.

Rory Gowans, defending Taylor, told the court that the defendant was employed by an Inverness-based courier company.

He said his client usually drove a 3.5-tonne vehicle but on the day in question was driving a 7.5-tonne lorry to deliver pallets.

He said: “He passed the cyclist fairly successfully and pulled in but, as a consequence of this being a heavier vehicle, he misjudged how easy it would be to get onto the other side of the road.

“Both vehicles stopped immediately to make sure the cyclist was okay.”

He added that Taylor had given up his job as a result of the incident, and now worked delivering pizzas.

Besides the £600 fine, Sheriff Gary Aitken also ordered Taylor to pay a £40 victim’s surcharge and endorsed his driving licence with six penalty points.

Adding that : “He [Taylor] is very lucky, as is the cyclist, that this did not end up a lot worse,” Sheriff Aitken also pointed out that the changes to the Highway Code that came into force in England, Scotland and Wales this weekend advise cyclists to ride in the centre of the lane on quieter roads.

Rule 162 of the new version of the Highway Code relates to overtaking and advises motorists: 

Before overtaking you should make sure

the road is sufficiently clear ahead
road users are not beginning to overtake you
there is a suitable gap in front of the road user you plan to overtake..

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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