Level of speed that can lead to carnage - sheriff

A SHERIFF said yesterday that a teenage driver's excessive speed was typical of the type that can lead to carnage on the roads.
Sheriff Andrew Berry spoke out, at Wick, after Lewis Kirk admitted he reached a speed of 85mph on a 50mph limit stretch of the A836 at Murkle, in adverse weather conditions at night.
The 19-year-old apprentice motor mechanic admitted driving carelessly on October 14, last year. He was clocked by police carrying out a speed check.
Fiscal David Barclay said that the speed limit apart, the accused's speed was not one that any competent driver should have been travelling at, given it was raining heavily at the time , it was dark, and there were junctions leading off the undulating section of road.
Solicitor Fiona MacDonald said that as a result of the offence, Kirk's father decided that it was not longer acceptable for his son to have a car and the vehicle was sold.
Sheriff Berry fined Kirk, of 11 Mackay Street, Castletown, 450 and banned him from driving for three months.
The sheriff said: "I can hear myself thinking 'here we go again' in relation to young male drivers driving at wholly inapropriately high speeds, which, of itself can lead to carnage, death and misery and I suspect your father would not have wanted anything like that to happen to you or anyone else."
Sheriff Berry added that the 50mph limit on the stretch of road in question, had been set for "very good reasons" and recalled that he had previously dealt with a crash case in which a oncoming car had suddenly appeared out of a dip.
In addition to the penalties imposed, Kirk will require to resit his driving test when his disqualification ends.