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Hebrides News


A road worker was hit by a car when its driver failed to see him beside a large tarring machine.


Another vehicle collided with the machine which was straddling the roadway after dusk Stornoway Sheriff Court was told.


The incidents occurred when a work squad was surfacing the driveway of a house in Newmarket on the Tong Road outside Stornoway.


Both drivers were charged with careless driving and not keeping proper observations.


But the two cases were abandoned during the  trial of one of the accused, Donald Morrison of Aird Point, Lewis.

Road worker hit by car

21 Sept 2017

Giving evidence, David Macleod said he was wearing high visibility clothing while guiding traffic around the large paver machine which was “half on the road and half on the pavement.”


Using hand signals he alert traffic to stop but Mr Morrison’s Renault Clio kept on going.


The witness told procurator fiscal Karen Smith: “I pushed myself right tight on the side of the paver to avoid being hit.


“Its wing mirror hit my arm as the car went past.”


About five minutes later “another vehicle collided with the paver. I heard shouting and a bang” he said.


Defence lawyer Angus Macdonald maintained not enough warning signs were put out.


Rules over distances in pacing signs up to the hazard were not applied, he added.


Neither were traffic cones placed around the tarring machine sitting on the road, stated the solicitor.


Mr Macdonald indicated there should be a “men at work” sign 200 yards away, followed by a “traffic control ahead” sign further in. Then a “road narrow” warning should be in place with another indicating “men at work.”

The solicitor said: “None of that was displayed apart from the one “men at work” sign” plus there should have been cones around the obstacle.


An approaching driver had “very little warning” of the hazard, stressed Mr Macdonald.


Even the flashing orange beacon atop the machine was “not the brightest and blends in with the orange streetlight” insisted the lawyer.


The court heard the company has since issued instructions to workers over the correct number and placement of warning signs.


Another witness, Robert Rankin - the paving machine operator, spoke to the vehicle driver but could not identify him in court.


He also explained he went to guide traffic after the first collision and saw another car coming towards the machine.


“I ran out to the side of the road to try and stop it. That didn‘t work and it hit the machine.”


Following Mr Rankin’s evidence proceedings were abandoned and Donald Morrison was found not guilty.


The fiscal told the sheriff that “in light of the evidence heard” she was dropping the case against the second driver.