Accused was driving too close to cyclist court hears

AN 87-year-old driver who knocked down a cyclist on a busy Highland road has been banned from driving for four months.



Eighty-seven year old Margaret Cooper from Falkirk was found guilty of careless driving after a trial at Wick Sheriff Court. She had denied the charge.


The accident occurred at the Caithness hamlet of Thrumster, near Wick on the A99, last May. The cyclist, Joan Henry, sustained multiple injuries and was taken to Caithness General Hospital where she works in the records department.


She told the court that the accident had "turned her life upside down" and she hasn't been able to resume her duties let alone get back on her bicycle.


The court heard that Cooper of 142 Corentin Court, Finistere Avenue, Falkirk, was driving too close to the north bound cycle.


The pensioner told the court that she thought she had passed the cyclist safely but realised that hadn't been the case when she heard a noise. She stopped her Skoda Fabia after seeing Mrs Henry in her mirror, lying on the road.


Sheriff Andrew Berry said that the mangled state of Mrs Henry's bike could only be consistent with that of a collision with another vehicle. He added that Cooper had been driving too close to the cyclist to perform an overtaking manoeuvre safely.


In addition to the driving ban, Cooper was fined 500. She will have to resit and pass a driving test before getting back on the road.