A motorist who reversed along a dual carriageway after missing his turn-off and smashed into an oncoming car during rush hour has been banned from the road for two years.
Steven Bruce drove backwards along the A9 trunk road for around 50m in a manoeuvre described as “one of the most dangerous things ever seen”.
Sheriff Keith O’Mahoney also ordered him to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community work and placed him on a curfew from 8pm to 6am every day for four months.
The sheriff told Bruce yesterday: “I view this to be a very serious dangerous driving charge, involving you reversing the wrong way down the dual carriageway simply because it seems you missed your intended exit.
“There could have been far more serious consequences than there were.”
Bruce admitted coming to a halt on the A9 trunk road after missing the slip road he planned to take, before heading backwards into oncoming traffic.
The 42-year-old smashed into an unsuspecting motorist who was turning onto the dual carriageway and was unaware of him heading in the wrong direction during rush hour.
Bruce, of Tweed Crescent, Dundee, admitted driving dangerously by reversing along the A9 dual carriageway in the direction of oncoming traffic, and hitting another vehicle and damaging both.
Perth Sheriff Court was told that Bruce smashed so hard into the other motorist’s car that the female driver’s door was caved in and she could only escape out of the passenger’s side.
Depute fiscal Matthew Kerr told the court: “It was about 8.30 am and the witness and the accused were at the locus. The accused approached and passed the Forteviot junction.
“Realising this was the junction he should have taken, he braked hard, coming to a stop within the inside lane of the southbound dual carriageway.
“At the same time, one of the witnesses had seen a suitable gap in the southbound traffic and began to turn right, crossing onto the southbound carriageway.
“Another driver remained stationary in the central reservation, awaiting a gap in the traffic to cross. As the first witness crossed the southbound lane, she suddenly became aware of the accused reversing the wrong way on the dual carriageway.
“He collided with the offside of her car. This was seen by the witness who was in the central reservation. Both vehicles were moved off the carriageway.
“As a result of the collision the complainer’s car had moderate damage. She could not open the driver’s door and had to exit from the front passenger door.
“The other driver in the central reservation stopped to assist. He remarked to the accused that it was one of the most dangerous things he had ever seen.”
Bruce said: “I had missed the junction. I thought it was clear.”
He told the woman he collided with: “I was reversing as I had missed the junction and you ended up in my way.”
Solicitor Pauline Cullerton, defending, said: “He has quite rightly accepted responsibility for this offence and in his own words this morning this was the worst decision of his life.
“He accepts there could have been more serious consequences. He made a serious error of judgment.”