Communities ‘blighted’ by careless drivers, says Rothesay sheriff

Careless drivers are "blighting" small communities, Sheriff Ruth Anderson said on Monday.
Careless drivers are "blighting" small communities, Sheriff Ruth Anderson said on Monday.

YOUNG motorists on Bute and elsewhere were given a stark warning of the consequences of their driving habits at Rothesay Sheriff Court on Monday.

Sheriff Ruth Anderson was speaking during the trial of two men accused of driving dangerously at Ettrick Bay on May 22 by driving at excessive speed, failing to maintain directional control of their vehicles, repeatedly causing their vehicles to skid and repeatedly driving towards another vehicle.

One of the two, 23-year-old Jamie McGuigan, was about to leave the dock after being formally acquitted of the charge due to a lack of identification evidence.

But before he could return to the public benches, the sheriff told McGuigan: “From what I have heard, you and others like you form a coterie of young men in small communities who drive about the streets without proper care and attention for other road users.

“Every community is blighted by that kind of driving. I know how attractive it is to be able to drive – when my provisional licence arrived on my 17th birthday I was desperate to get out there and drive.

“But cars are lethal weapons, and you wouldn’t like to be responsible for a child’s death, or that of an old person, or somebody in another car. So let this be a real lesson to you.”

Later in the same trial, the sheriff observed: “This is what young men do. Lots of them go to beaches, and industrial estates, and schools that are closed, to drive their cars, and a lot of them kill themselves.”