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Teenage motorist who forced cyclist off road keeps driving licence

Cyclist had to take to grass verge to avoid being hit by 19-year-old Jack Hart

A teenage motorist who forced a cyclist off the road has been allowed to keep his driving licence by a court in Scotland.

Jack Hart, aged 19, had been charged with dangerous driving in relation to the incident on the A930 between Carnoustie and Monifieth on a Saturday afternoon in April this year, reports the Dundee Courier.

However, when he appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court, the sheriff – the Scottish equivalent to a magistrate – accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of careless driving.

The court heard that despite there being no vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, Hart, from Invergowrie, made a very close pass on the cyclist.

When the rider, who was heading to work, heard Hart’s vehicle approaching, he turned to see what was happening and  swerved onto the grass verge to avoid being hit.

He reported the incident to police when he arrived at his place of work.

When officers from Police Scotland tracked down the teenage driver, he said: “Really sorry, I should never have done that.”

He also said in a letter to the court that he had been aware the cyclist had been shouting and waving.

Defending Hart, solicitor Brian Bell said: “Essentially he never allowed the cyclist enough room and he does apologise.

“He’s embarrassed – it was a momentary lapse.

“He works as an apprentice mechanic and does require his driving licence.

“It’s clear of points, but if he was to get six points he would lose it,” the solicitor explained.

Fining Hart £300 and endorsing his driving licence with four penalty points, Sheriff Derek Reekie told him: “You’re going to have to take more care.

“You’re a young driver and if you get six points you’ll have to resit your test.

“It’s well known young men in particular given the privilege of a driving licence think they are very clever and drive in an inappropriate manner.

“I take into account your circumstances and agree with Mr Bell this was a mid-range offence,” the sheriff added.

He added: “You’re going to have to be very careful,” the sheriff warned him.

“It’s amazing how points can rack up on speed cameras and things like that so you need to watch out.”

Under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995, any motorist who gets six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test will have their driving licence revoked.

The total includes any penalty points accrued before they passed their test, and penalty points are valid for three years.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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