A 55-year-old truck driver who crashed through railway level crossing barriers at Lydney, Glos, and caused extensive damage after ignoring the warning signals has been fined £750 and received seven penalty points on his driving licence.
Bernard Taylor of Hafen Deg, Pencoed, Bridgend, denied a charge of driving dangerously on June 16, 2021, but admitted a less serious alternative charge of driving without due care and attention.
Prosecutor Tom Griffiths told Gloucester Crown Court yesterday (June 12) that Taylor drove through the railway barrier at Lydney having ignored the warning signals on June 16, 2021. This caused the barriers to smash down on his vehicle, causing £12,794 worth of damage.
Lloyd Jenkins, defending, stated that Taylor, a lorry driver with over 30 years of experience, was in a heavy goods vehicle towing a trailer, when the warning lights came on.
“He was immediately put in a Hobson’s choice decision to make, whether he should stop and reverse backwards with cars behind him, or keep going?” Mr Jenkins said.
“In that split second, he chose the latter with the barrier ultimately coming down on the back of the lorry and smashing into pieces.
“Taylor stopped as soon as he could, knowing that he was completely over the railway line and it was safe to do so. He ran back to the crossing and removed as much of the debris as he could.”
“Taylor has been with his current employer for the past three-and-a-half years and his life has effectively been on hold for the past two years waiting for this case to come before the courts.”
Judge Rupert Lowe told Taylor: “You are being sentenced for driving in what appears to be a very dramatic accident at Lydney railway crossing.”
“You drove down the road, a road which you knew well, but you failed to notice the signals operating to warn that the barriers were coming down.
“You should have noticed this and were probably distracted by something. I accept you stopped soon after and cleared the debris and co-operated with the police in every way.
“The upshot is that your standard of driving was below standard. This I believe was a driving error. If you do this again you will most likely be disqualified from driving.”
Taylor was fined £750 and ordered to pay court costs of £145 and had seven points imposed on his driving licence.
The judge said that he would not be making a compensation order for £12,000 and that issue would have to be dealt with through insurance companies.