Gorleston driver fined over lollipop man accident

A motorist whose car hit a lollipop man as he tried to escort a child across a busy road failed to slow down his sports car when blinded by the sun, a court heard yesterday.

Gregory Doggett drove into the back of school crossing patrol officer Derek Collins as he stood in the road displaying his stop sign on the A12 Yarmouth Road in Lowestoft.

The 73-year-old lollipop man was left with a cut to his arm, his face and bruising to his legs after he was knocked onto the bonnet and shattered the windscreen of Doggett's MG convertible. Doggett previously pleaded not guilty to driving without due care and attention following the incident on February 3 at 8.20am. But he held his head in his hands when Magistrates' found him guilty during a trial at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court.

Ian Devine, prosecuting, said: 'The defendant was travelling from Gorleston to Lowestoft when Mr Collins stepped out into the road holding his sign with his back to him. Mr Doggett then drove into the back of Mr Collins. Mr Doggett said the sun that morning was very low and the light was blinding his visibility, and there was glare on the road. He also had his sun visor down, which obscured his view even more.'

Doggett, 27, of Cliff Avenue, Gorleston, hit Mr Collins close to the junction of Hollings-worth Road and Gunton Church Lane.

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Witnesses told the court that he appeared to be travelling in excess of the 30mph speed limit and Mr Collins was standing in the road for 20 seconds before he was struck.

When giving evidence to the court, Mr Collins said: 'I was wearing my yellow hat, long yellow coat and holding my lollipop stick. A young girl came along and I could see nothing coming for some distance, so I stepped out into the road with my lollipop and was hit in the back.'

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Ross Burrows, defending, said of Doggett: 'There are road traffic collisions but this is a case of a road traffic accident. It is not glamorous to say it, but he did not apply his brakes until impact because the sun had blocked his view up until that point.'

Doggett was fined �130 with costs of �400. His licence was endorsed with four points.


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