A pensioner who ignored warning lights at Carnoustie level crossing because he was late for a game of golf has been spared a driving ban.
Robert Clarke, 76, of the town’s Bruce Drive, appeared for sentencing at Forfar Sheriff Court after previously admitting failing to comply with the “stop” signs at the crossing on March 9.
Depute fiscal Stewart Duncan told the court the incident happened at approximately 10.30am when the signaller activated the lights before the arrival of a passenger train.
Mr Duncan said CCTV images showed the white barrier began to lower but Clarke veered on to the opposite carriageway and under the barrier on the other side.
His solicitor Billy Rennie told the court his client was a first offender and was “fully remorseful”.
“He is 76 and has lived in the town for 40 years,” he said.
“He is retired, has an unblemished record, no road traffic offences and lives with his wife. He has been through that crossing thousands of times and has never had a problem.
“On this particular occasion he was late for golf and he had rushed from his house to get there in time.”
Mr Rennie said it was a “moment of madness” but his client was not making any excuses for his actions.
“He didn’t pay total regard,” he said.
“The greatest damage would have been to himself. He is fully remorseful and he sought to pled guilty at the outset.
“Being in the court has already served as a lesson. He is well known in golfing circles in the town and there has been an element of shame.”
Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown said disqualification had been a possibility.
“I take into account what has been said on your behalf,” she said.
“You have no previous convictions and no previous road traffic convictions.
“It also seems you have learned your lesson and I’m prepared to deal with this by way of points and a fine.”
Clarke was fined £335 and given three penalty points.