November 17, 2009

84-year-old woman gets 12 month ban for driving wrong way down dual-carriageway

Magistrates ordered Margaret Street to take an extended test before being allowed to drive again and heard that she was unlikely to get behind the wheel again.

Prosecutor Helena Jackson said that at 10pm on October 7 police officers saw a car heading towards them in what was for them the outside lane.

They switched on their blue lights to warn other vehicles travelling behind them and the Ford Focus carried on, avoiding them.

After reaching Rhuddlan roundabout on the A525 town by-pass near Rhyl, North Wales, the officers chased back after the car and, when stopped, the pensioner said she had become confused.

She explained that she had been to St Asaph and normally returned home through the village of Rhuddlan.

“I realised as soon as I got onto the dual-carriageway but could not get off, so drove carefully to the end of the road,” she told magistrates in Prestatyn. Street, of East Avenue, Prestatyn, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was fined £60. She was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £85.

Her solicitor, Gwyn Jones, said she realised she had made a grave error of judgement, but having entered the dual-carriageway was faced with the predicament of whether to stop, do a U-turn or carry on. “She accepts that the standard of her driving on that occasion fell below what was expected of a reasonable and prudent driver,” he said.

He told the court it was highly unlikely his client would take the extended test, and added: “This may be a reminder to us all that when we reach a certain age it might be better for us not to drive any more.”

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