Dashcam captures danger driver overtaking in roadworks moments before van crash

A danger-driver who left a fellow motorist injured after hitting the back of his van at speed has been spared jail.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 7:00 am
Dashcam footage captures Martin Robson driving through roadworks before crashing into a van at a junction

Martin Robson, 59, powered through 50mph roadworks on the A19 dual carriageway at Sunderland at around 70mph, witnesses said.

And after he turned off onto a slip just over the river Wear, he clipped the rear right hand side of the Vauxhall van, a court heard.

Robson, of Coverley Road, Hylton Castle, Sunderland, had his antics at 2.30pm on Monday, January 18, captured by two fellow motorists’ dash cams.

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He left the van driver with whiplash and bruising that kept him off work for six months – and his motor was a write-off.

District Judge Kathryn Meek said Robson's driving – his second danger-drive offence - was so bad it had crossed the custody threshold.

After viewing footage of him in the moments before the smash, she jailed him for 26 weeks, suspended for two years.

She also handed him a two-year driving ban – and imposed a 16-week electronically monitored curfew to keep him indoors between 7pm and 7am.

Prosecutor Becky Slade told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court: “A witness says there was a 50mph speed limit in place but estimates the defendant was travelling at around 70mph.

“He saw him cut up a chevron at the A19 and A1231. He thought he had hit someone, that it had clipped the back end of the van.”

Ms Slade said the van driver had been left with anxiety and flashbacks of the accident, and found it difficult to sleep.

She told the hearing Robson had 10 previous convictions from 15 offences, including dangerous driving in 1994.

Lucy Redshaw, defending, said Robson, who pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, had driven poorly due to a double dose of bad news that day.

She added: “He was out with a friend who had received a cancer diagnosis while in his company.

“It caused him distress, his friend is now deceased.

“He had also been told that his dog of 15 years was unwell and needed to be euthanized.

“He says that his head was all over the place. He admits doing a stupid manoeuvre.”

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