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Road workers must be kept safe at all times said Sheriff Patrick Hughes, sitting at Campbeltown Sheriff Court when he heard how a motorist ignored traffic lights and a convoy system and drove through a closed stretch of the A83 at night.
Charles Donaghy, 37, of 2 Woodside, Gigha, formerly of Tayinloan, admitted driving without due consideration for other road users by refusing to comply with a red traffic light and road closed signs, driving past a queue of stationary vehicles awaiting a convoy, driving through road works on freshly laid Tarmac, weaving between lanes, plant and machinery, in close proximity to site workers and narrowly avoiding colliding with a person working on the site.
The incident happened early on May 30 on a stretch of the A83 between Tayinloan and Clachan near to South Lodge Dun. Resurfacing work was taking place and the road was closed during the night for work with ‘amnesty’ convoys of cars at set times.
Donaghy had denied that he had been driving dangerously and at his trial last Wednesday he admitted the lesser charge.
The court heard from the BEAR Scotland engineer at the works who said the carriageways were below 6m wide and so the road was closed for safety with traffic in convoys during the night at set times.
A call came through on the walkie-talkies that a car had driven through the red light and workers were shouted a warning.
‘I managed to stop the car by putting my hand up,’ he told the police.
Donaghy said he had been told he could drive if he was careful. He then drove off, switching lanes as he went.
The engineer told the court that all the workers were out of the way apart from a technician working on his own, who had to ‘jump’. The vehicle left tracks in the freshly laid and rolled Tarmac.
The procurator said that Donaghy had been driving at a reasonably slow speed, which was given as between 15 and 20mph.
Donaghy’s actions that night were ‘informed purely by frustration and he regrets driving in that way,’ said his defence agent.
Sheriff Hughes fined him £380 and disqualified him from driving for six months, saying his behaviour was disgraceful, exposing the workers to danger. ‘I am sending out a message to drivers that workers on these roads must be kept safe.’