Claimed he could not see due to sun

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After causing a road traffic collision a 37-year-old man claimed he did not see the other vehicle because of the low sun in the sky.

Gerard Thompson, Whitehall Gate, Lurgan, had originally been charged with dangerous driving on April 18.

But after representations by his solicitor to the prosecution service this was reduced to driving without due care and attention for which he was fined £150 and given six points.

Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday a road traffic collision occurred as Thompson was driving out of the Cornakinnegar Road.

He admitted crossing over the line but claimed he did not see the oncoming traffic because of the low sun in the sky.

Witnesses in vehicles behind the defendant said they had no difficulty in seeing the vehicle approaching on the other road.

A solicitor representing Thompson said he had been heading out to collect a friend and knew this stretch of road very well.

He added that it was not the case that he took a chance to nip in front of the other car because he had slowed down and was nearly stopped.

The solicitor said the only explanation Thompson could offer in not seeing the other vehicle was the low sun in the sky. There was serious damage to both cars.

He added that his client had a clear record and immediately accepted the accident was his fault.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was quite a bad piece of careless driving and Thompson should have waited until he could have seen properly.

But, he added, he would take into account the defendant’s plea of guilty and his clear driving record.