A MOTORCYCLIST who overtook vehicles approaching a blind bend on the A82 and collided with a police car has been convicted of dangerous driving.
Malcolm Macleod from Smithton avoided a head-on crash after veering right but still struck the nearside of the oncoming police car.
Macleod was thrown from his 1300cc Suzuki motorcycle but escaped unhurt. The driver of the police car, PC Siobhan Cooper, was also uninjured.
Macleod (50) had offered a plea of guilty to careless driving but was convicted of dangerous driving after Sheriff Mark Thorley saw video footage taken from cameras in the police car and other vehicles he had overtaken.
The crash occurred on October 21 last year at Bunloit and Inverness Sheriff Court saw a recording of Macleod driving towards the police car and squeezing between it and the verge.
The motorcycle caught the rear nearside door of PC Cooper's car which came to a stop immediately after the collision.
PC Cooper was travelling south-west at 1.30pm when she saw the line of vehicles approach her.
Then as she approached a bend she saw Macleod's motorcycle trying to overtake.
"I applied my brakes and did an emergency stop. At the same time the motorcyclist applied his brakes. I managed to swerve to the offside and the motorcycle veered to my nearside and collided with the rear of my vehicle and the rider was ejected from his bike."
Witness John McNeil (58), a principal engineer with Rolls Royce from Thurso, said he was driving home from Faslane and saw vehicles in front.
He said they had come off one bend and were approaching another bend when Macleod overtook. Mr McNeil said he was driving at about 40-45mph when the motorbike passed him. He saw the bike braking and it flipped over when it struck the police car.
Macleod said the footage clearly showed he had observed all road markings his speed was about 60mph.
"I wasn't out to break the law. I made a mistake but the punishment should fit the crime. I don't think it was dangerous. My hands are up. I made a mistake but it was not dangerous. I was going up the hill and went too far and couldn't get back in. When I first realised, it was too late."
Finding him guilty of dangerous driving, Sheriff Thorley said: "It's somewhat fortuitous we do have video footage because it does set the scene. One of the rules of the road is you do not overtake when you cannot see and you were on a blind corner. In many ways its fortunate there was not tragic consequences. I don't think you set out to be dangerous but as far as the decision you took it falls far below that of a competent driver."
He fined Macleod, of Smithton Park, Inverness, £600 and banned him from driving for 18 months with a condition that he must resit an extended driving test.