Driver's U-turn caused motorcyclist 'life-threatening injuries'

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The hearing was told that Highways England said the u-turn manoeuvre which Nathaniel Smith performed on the A47 near his home in Wisbech was “perfectly acceptable”.

On Monday he pleaded guilty to a charge of driving without due care and attention on April 4. He also admitted that a rear tyre was under the legal tread depth.

The collision occurred at 2.30pm as Smith, who was in a Ford Transit tipper, joined the A47 from Newbridge Lane.

The motorcyclist on a Triumph bike was “catapulted” into the air, prosecutor Sharon Chattey told Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.

“The actions of the paramedics at the scene probably saved his life,” said Miss Chattey, who added that he lost a lot of blood and was airlifted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

He had two lots of surgery and remained in hospital for almost three weeks, having a “long road to recovery ahead”.

In mitigation, Smith’s solicitor said: “Highways England have confirmed that the manoeuvre undertaken by the defendant was perfectly acceptable in all the circumstances.

“There was a short period of lack of concentration on his part.

“Drivers are taught to look left, right and left again. It must be the case with the final check that it wasn’t made or was done in a cursory fashion.”

She added: “With respect to the court, the greatest concern he has is the injuries sustained by the individual.”

Smith, of Newbridge Lane Caravan Park, was given six penalty points, fined £146 and ordered to pay £144 in costs and victim surcharge.