Prosecution? - Mondaywoe
An elderly aunt of mine had a bit of a mishap yesterday with her Metro. She was blinded by low sun in a narrow street and in trying to avoid an oncoming car, she hit a parked car on her own side of the road and apparently came to rest on top of the parked car - almost toppling onto the driver's side!

Some workmen nearby ran with scaffolding poles and made the car stable while she managed to escape - fortunately with no physical injury. Needless to say, of course she was badly shaken. Someone sent for the ambulance and police. She was taken to Casualty, but allowed home.

The Metro was taken to a local garage and they've found the nearside steering is knackered.

Although my aunt has driven for 40 years+ with no accidents to speak of, she has been worrying us quite a lot lately - poorer judgement of distance etc.She says she was only doing about 10mph when it happened, but obviously that wouldn't account for landing on top of another car! My own suspicion is that she maybe panicked when she saw the oncoming car coming out of the sun and hit the throttle instead of the brake.

Of course, there is the off chance that a steering link or suchlike failed, but this is probably unlikely because the car was low mileage and fastidiously maintained by an excellent garage.

Now the question is this - will she face prosecution for careless driving?

The police say a 'report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal' (Scotland) Does this automatically mean she will be charged or does the Fiscal have discretion on this? Anybody hot on Scot's Law?

It's all a bit sad. Fortunately she is not hurt and no one else was involved. The other car owner was very understanding and insurance will see to everything. My worry is that she might be prosecuted - that would be very upsetting for her, I know.

I see lots of elderly folks having accidents of this kind. I often say to myself that they should get off the road before thet are a danger to themselves and others. Yet, when it happens to a close relative and you know that the car is vital for their independence, it makes you think.

What are the chances of prosecution here? The police haven't given any indication of it yet? Would she normally have been charged on the spot? Is 'sun in your eyes' an acceptable excuse? If it's found the car had a fault that caused the accident would that be a different kettle of fish?

Graeme
Prosecution? - Fullchat
Have a look under DRIVING LICENCE WITHDRAWN BY DVLA thread.
Dont know much about Scottish law but was she interviewed and reported or was she told she would be seen at a later date?
Prosecution? - Tom Shaw
I'm not sure about how the law applies in Scotland, but in England and Wales the police are increasingly offering drivers involved in non injury accidents the chance to go on a Driver Improvement Course, run by the local councils road safety people on behalf of the police. Lasting a day and a half and costing just over one hundred quid, drivers who opt for this escape prosecution. They do seem to target the elderly for these courses, as they form a high percentage of those attending.

Otherwise, I'm afraid your aunt really has no defence should the police decide to prosecute. The answer to the excuse that she was blinded by the sun would be that she should have slowed down or stopped. If she hit the throttle instead of the brake, then I would have to take the harsh view that maybe she should decide that the time had come to consider her future as a driver. We will all get to the stage one day when failing health and reactions mean that driving starts to get dangerous, and however much of a blow it might be the only answer is to quit before something serious happens.

If the family have been getting worried about her driving abilities before this accident, perhaps the sensible thing to do would be to sit her down and try to make her realise she should quit while she is ahead.

Sorry if this sounds like a bit of a sermon, but I have some experience of assessing elderly drivers, and too many carry on well past the stage when they are safe to be on the road.
Prosecution? - Godfrey H {P}
I don't know about other parts of the country but where I live (Suffolk) Police wouldn't be in the slightest bit interested in following up your aunt's accident. Myself and my neighbour have both been involved in separate accidents caused by bad driving of another motorist and the Police didn't want to know. In my case I even had to chase very hard to get the other drivers details from them. I couldn't get the other driver details myself as they carted him off to hospital with a broken arm.
Prosecution? - Dwight Van Driver
With little knowledge of the Scottish system of Law it does, to a degree follow English lines as does Police accident Investigation.

If a kilted Plod has attended the scene then he presumably will take the necessary statements to gather the evidence including a statement or interview under caution of your relatives account.

A file will be submitted to the appropriate authority (CPS England - Procurator Fiscal Scotland?). Should it be deemed that a due care is there then the next thing you will know is the receipt of a summons.

As to whether blinded by sun can be used in defence will depend
as outlined earlier.

You say the steering was defective and your post suggests that this was other than as the result of accident damage. Did kilted Plod have/arrange a vehicle inspection which may show one way or the other. If a long standing defect then possible prosecution for using a vehicle with defective steering.

Give it a week and then to settle your mind try and have a word with the officer involved to see what is happening.

In the meantime this may be a good time to review the driving habits of your elderly relative and surrender of her DL?

Isn't it neeps and tatties neet to neet and the wee timerous beastie - enjoy.

DVD
Prosecution? - Mondaywoe
Thanks to all who have replied - and I entirely agree with those who suggest that it's maybe time to call it a day, regardless of whether this lands in prosecution or not.

I took her to the police station to hand in her documents this morning. The officer at the desk just took details. When I asked him if prosecution might be a possibility he just said he didn't know because a colleague had attended the scene.

She hasn't been cautioned that I'm aware of.

We also went to the garage to see the car. There is very little damage to bodywork - front bumper dislodged slightly, scratches to ns wing. HOWEVER.. the steering wheel whirls around merrily without anything happening at the wheels!

The garage say they haven't had it on the ramp yet, but with 18,000 miles on the clock (P reg) the chances of mechanical failure are slight. I reckon she busted the rack on impact.

What I can't fathom, however, is how she climbed up the back bumper of a Peugeot 205 and came to rest at 45 degrees against the side of said Pug! To my mind that would have taken either lots of speed on approach or plenty revs to engine. Maybe she hit the accelerator by mistake while front wheels were on slight lock and the 'protruding' tyre ran up the edge of the bumper! Weird! (Rememeber the TV ads with the Montego?)

Oddly enough,now that she is more composed, she is maintaining that there must have been a steering fault and this has relieved her mind about her own competence!!! (Or as Thora Hird would say on Summer Wine 'Your father's done something to this car again, it won't stay on the road!) Fascinating, but worrying.

Will let you know how things progress.

Graeme
Prosecution? - Pugugly {P}
From memory the Fiscal has discretion on prosecution. If she decides to give up driving I would get a letter off straight away pointing this out. Under E&W CPS gudelines this case would be a marginal one for prosecution. It may be an idea to get the car examined, I think that the Police would probably get this
doen in E&W
Prosecution? - Mondaywoe
It's a manual Metro. As I say, I just can't figure how a Metro can crawl up the side of a Pug 205 so as to land at 45 degrees alongside - barring any sort of Evil Knevil (sp?) tactics! If front ns tyre was on lock, caught back bumper corner of Pug then driver hit the accelerator that might just explain it - but something of a freak accident, I'd say!

Graeme

 

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