A man who was carrying two teenagers on the floor of his van and made a three-point turn in traffic on the A1, causing a three-vehicle collision in which eight people were injured, has been given a 12 month driving ban and 200 hours of community service.
Paul Murray blamed his satnav for the incident, which resulted in him driving the wrong way down the carriageway into 70mph traffic. (Local media outlet The Chronicle appeared happy to adopt the same stance, reporting that “his satnav took him into oncoming traffic”.)
Eric Elliott QC remarked, “Doing a three-point turn on the A1 just beggars belief. Mercifully, while the injuries cannot be described as trivial, they could have been fatal and it’s remarkable that everybody ultimately did escape with their lives. The case is aggravated by your cavalier attitude towards your passengers in allowing two people to travel in the back of the van, just sat on the floor.”
However, he then added, “I accept this was a genuine momentary lapse of judgement,” before awarding the minimum possible driving ban for the charge and declining to impose custody.