£300 fine for careless driving on Melrose bypass

Tipping was driving on the A6091 Melrose bypass.
Tipping was driving on the A6091 Melrose bypass.

A mechanic overtook a vehicle on the Melrose bypass, forcing an oncoming police car to take evasive action to avoid a collision, Selkirk Sheriff Court has been told.

Steven Tipping, 37, of Wood Street, Galashiels, pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving on the A6091 road on May 10.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser explained that it was around 12.45pm on the date in question and the accused was driving an Audi.

He said: “He came behind a line of traffic and started to overtake.

“While that was going on, a marked police car came in the opposite direction.

“The police car flashed its lights, and the Audi managed to pull in just before a collision, but the police car had to slow down and take evasive action.

“The officers turned round and caught up with the accused at the Tweedbank roundabout.”

The court heard how Tipping had been offered a fixed-penalty fine of £100, plus three penalty points, but he had not responded, resulting in the court action.

Sheriff Derrick McIntyre said Tipping was fortunate not to be facing a dangerous driving charge carrying a stiffer penalty.

Defence lawyer Ed Hulme said his client was stuck behind slow-moving traffic on a road he was familiar with.

He explained: “It was simply an error of judgement.”

Mr Hulme said the fact that Tipping was offered a fixed penalty for careless driving by the officers at the scene showed there was no question of dangerous driving.

He added that his client would lose his job if six or more penalty points were endorsed on his licence.

Sheriff McIntyre told Tipping he was a “bit stupid” not taking the fixed penalty as he imposed a £300 fine and endorsed his licence with five penalty points.