Highlands & Islands

Police officer admits to careless driving on A82

A police officer has admitted to driving carelessly after an accident on the A82 along Loch Ness.

Stuart Rowe, 50, and a colleague were taking a prisoner from Fort William to Inverness on 16 August 2013.

It was alleged that a car driver coming the other way swerved after Rowe sought to overtake a bus near Invermoriston. The car and police van did not collide.

At Inverness Sheriff Court he was fined £300 and three penalty points were placed on his licence.

Defence advocate Gavin Anderson told Sheriff Margaret Neilson that keeping his licence would mean Rowe, an officer of 19 years' service, could continue in his job.

The court was told that Rowe and his colleague were not on an emergency but were in a police van transporting a prisoner.

The officers had been stuck behind a bus for a considerable distance and when Rowe pulled out to see if it was safe to overtake, a Clio came round a bend.

There was no collision and Rowe carried on his journey unaware that the driver of the other car had taken evasive action.

The Clio suffered damage to both front wheels and tyres and the driver had a sore neck but did not require medical treatment, the court heard.

Mr Anderson told Sheriff Neilson that the police driving manual warns that motorists may "over react" to the presence of a police vehicle.

The defence advocate added: "He moved over on to the other lane to get a better view of what was ahead of the bus.

"If we had gone to trial I would have asked the other driver if she had over-reacted. It was not necessary for her to take evasive action.

"The officers in the van were unaware of what happened until he was questioned back at the police station. This was not a case of excessive speed or failure to stop."