A care home worker created a pile-up at a Fife roundabout after being surprised by heavy traffic caused by the closure of the Queensferry crossing.
Barry Trotter rounded a corner in his “substantial” Ford S-Max people carrier and was confronted by the rear of a queue at the Gartarry roundabout.
He shunted a Renault Trafic van, driven by a Mr Park, across the road and into a field.
He caused a Volkswagen Passat, driven by a Mr Short to hit a Peugeot 208 in front, driven by a Mr Ash.
The 41-year-old was allowed to keep his licence.
Shunted van into a field
Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard the Queensferry Crossing had been closed on February 10, 2020 because of falling ice, causing thousands of motorists to divert onto other routes.
Fiscal depute Azrah Yousaf told the court the crash happened during morning rush hour, at around 8am.
“On the day in question Mr Park was driving along the A907.
“There was traffic ahead of him so he started to slow down.
“He looked in his mirror and saw the accused’s Ford vehicle.
“He was of the opinion the accused was going very fast and was not going to be able to stop.
“He moved to the right side of the road to try and avoid a collision.
“However, the accused’s vehicle did collide and this sent his vehicle across the opposite lane, over the verge and into a field, where the vehicle came to rest.
“After colliding with Mr Park’s vehicle, the accused’s vehicle collided with Mr Short’s vehicle, which collided with Mr Ash’s vehicle.
“Police were called and there was damage to all the vehicles.
“When charged under section 2 of the act, he replied: ‘I don’t believe my driving was dangerous’.”
Mr Park attended hospital for whiplash.
Licence needed for care home trips
Trotter’s solicitor, Mr Mackay, said he needed to keep his licence to allow him to take care home residents on trips out.
He said: “This was a very unfortunate accident.
“On the day in question the Queensferry bridge was inoperative because of ice.
“That caused a build up of traffic in various locations of drivers trying to get over other bridges.
“Mr Trotter was not one of them.
“He was trying to get to work in a care home in Kincardine.”
He said his client “wasn’t driving particularly fast” but came out of sharp bend at around 40mph and misjudged his braking.
“He got out of his own vehicle and went to the other drivers.
“He phoned the police and ambulance himself.
“He is a maintenance officer at a care home and he requires to drive for his job – he has to drive between various care homes.
“He also takes residents from the care home out in his own time.
“He is, in general terms, quite a responsible person.
“This was an unfortunate set of circumstances.”
Points on licence
Although initially charged with dangerous driving, Trotter admitted carelessly.
Sheriff Linda Smith fined Trotter, of Wilson Street, Blairhall, £600 and endorsed his licence with four penalty points.
The Queensferry crossing was closed on February 10 last year after several cars were hit by falling ice as much of Scotland was hit by freezing weather and heavy snow.
The span remained closed until the February 12.