Saturday, May 08, 2004

Grandma pays penalty for life in slow lane

WHEN police spotted a Honda Civic full of old ladies driving erratically at dusk on a busy main road, barely exceeding 5mph and standing on the brakes at every bend, they immediately assumed the driver had been drinking.
Other traffic was braking sharply to avoid a collision. The police car switched on blue lights and siren, but the Honda failed to pull over. It was looking like a clearcut breathalyser case.

When officers eventually persuaded the Honda to stop, they found it in the charge of Mary Limond, 75, entirely sober but lost, late and having dreadful trouble with her new glasses. Mrs Limond, a widow and grandmother from Bearsden, Glasgow, was fined Ā£200 and given six penalty points at Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday after pleading guilty to careless driving on a 60mph stretch of the A81 between Drumgoyne and Blanefield, Stirlingshire.

The court heard that Mrs Limond had bought a new pair of glasses only days before taking friends on a regular scenic drive to Tighnabruaich, Argyllshire. They had intended to return in daylight but became lost on the way home.

Gordon Fraser, for the defence, told the court: ā€?Mrs Limond had just obtained new lenses for her spectacles, and found herself being dazzled by the cars coming in the opposite direction. When the police car switched its lights on it was so close to her that she was dazzled; she thought the car was trying to overtake her.ā€¯

Mrs Limond, who has been driving blamelessly for 50 years and had never been in court before, said after the hearing: ā€?Because my eyes had not adjusted to the new lenses, I found myself being dazzled by the headlights of the other cars.ā€¯

Mrs Limond intends to continue taking her friends on their outings, but will try to make it home in daylight.

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