Video - Lorry driver banned for ‘bad error of judgement’

Lorry driver overtook at Levenseat, Forth, as cars came towards him
Lorry driver overtook at Levenseat, Forth, as cars came towards him

A lorry driver whose overtaking went viral online after he forced oncoming cars off the road has been banned from driving.

He did not stop after the incident, but one of the vehicles he overtook was fitted with a dashcam – and the video footage of his terrifying driving quickly went viral.

Hundreds of thousands of people have watched it online - and on Wednesday it had a special showing, to a smaller audience, at Lanark Sheriff Court.

Wesley Conn (48) from Bathgate was charged with dangerous driving after the incident, on November 15 2014, on the A706 at Levenseat, overtaking when it was unsafe and forcing oncoming vehicles to take evasive action and mount the grass verge.

On Wednesday his plea to the lesser charge of careless driving was accepted.

The court heard that Conn had left the DHL depot at Livingston at luncthime that day, heading for Warrington with an Iceland trailer.

At 1.12pm on the A706 heading towards Forth he overtook the Mazda Bongo campervan approaching a left hand bend.

“It passed them, and began to move in between their vehicle and a BMW which was in front,” said depute fiscal Ziad Hassan.

“The witnesses then noted that the truck had moved back out into the opposing carriageway and it overtook the BMW ahead, putting the HGV into the path of oncoming vehicles and causing them to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

A silver Volkswagen and white Alpha Romeo were forced on to the verge; and a red Sprinter Parcelforce van had to stop to prevent a head-on collision with the HGV.

Conn continued on, and Mr Hassan added: “I’m told the drivers were placed in a state of shock.”

None of the drivers contacted the police at the time, but the dashcam footage was shared online and quickly went viral.

The police were then involved and spoke to Conn’s employers, DHL.

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After watching the video twice, Sheriff Nikola Stewart commented that it was a “bad, bad error of judgement”.

Conn, she said, had had ample opportunity to pull in between the Mazda and the BMW.

It was a flagrant breach of road traffic law, and the sheriff sugested that the other drivers must have been “apoplectic with shock and rage” at the driving.

The court heard that after Conn was identified as the driver, he was brought before the Traffic Commission and lost his HGV licence for three months, and lost his job.

After eight months of unemployment he was now working in an office-based job.

Sentencing Conn, Sheriff Stewart said that the driving fell well below the standard expected.

“Three drivers were put in danger, three drivers were inconvenienced, three drivers no doubt took a long time to recover from what was a startling piece of driving,” she told him.

She banned Conn from driving for 22 weeks, and fined him £650.