M74 crash trucker banned after missing bargain penalty

A lorry went out of control on the M74, travelled along a barrier, then demolished an SOS box before stopping, a court heard.
M74 motorwayM74 motorway
M74 motorway

Police officers attending the accident offered the truck driver a fixed-penalty fine of £100 and three points on his licence, but Stuart Gordon passed up on that bargain.

That’s a decision he might now regret as when he appeared on the same charge at Lanark Sheriff Court last Wednesday he was fined £500 and banned from driving for a year.

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Sheriff Derek O’Carroll expresed his surprise at Gordon being offered a fixed penalty by experienced police officers and further shock at his failure to take advantage of it.

Gordon, 39, of Riddrie, Glasgow, admitted driving the 44-ton truck carelessly on the M74 northbound on September 18 last year.

The accident happened near Abington at about 5.40am, while it was still dark.

“For unknown reasons he lost control of the vehicle, causing it to veer off the carriageway to the nearside, where it mounted the verge and drove up on the top of a barrier and then continued for a distance along the barrier, and collided with an SOS box which was completely destroyed,” depute fiscal Ziad Hassan told the court.

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Emergency services attended, but Gordon could give no reason for the accident, and it was then that the police offered him the fixed penality option.

Solicitor Kevin McCarron said that Gordon was on his way back from Birmingham, and his only possible explanations were that either something had fallen in the sleeping cab behind him and he was trying to retrieve it or he had an unknown health problem.

He had not been able to accept the fixed penalty as he had gone to his GP and had been referred for cardiology tests, though those had proved negative, the court heard.

Sheriff O’Carroll suggested, that given the time, Gordon might have fallen asleep at the wheel.

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He counted up 10 separate contraventions of road traffic laws Gordon had notched up since being given a heavy goods vehicle licence and banned him,

“You are a danger in my view,” he told Gordon. “You should not be driving.”