M74 lorry driver fined £900

Sheriff Nikola Stewart.
Sheriff Nikola Stewart.

A trucker could have caused a catastrophe on a local stretch of the M74, Lanark Sheriff Court heard on Thursday.

That is what sheriff Nikola Stewart told Padraig Murphy, 46, when he appeared for sentence, having earlier admitted that, on November 28 last year near Junction 14 at Elvanfoot, he had allowed his vehicle to remain stationary in lane one of the busy motorway for 24 minutes, putting other users of the busy motorway at risk of serious injury by colliding with him.

Depute fiscal Ziad Hassan told the court that, shortly after 1am, police had been alerted by another driver that Murphy’s lorry and flatbed trailer had apparently broken down on the motorway and officers went to investigate.

They found Murphy sitting in the driving seat of his cab, and the officers asked him to move his vehicle off the carriageway. Almost immediately, Murphy got his engine started and pulled off the road onto the hard shoulder. He told officers that on his journey from England that day, his lorry’s engine had been been behaving erratically and it had failed for the third time as he reached Elvanfoot.

He told police that the engine was seemingly starved of fuel and he was resting it before attempting to restart. He had made no attempt to report his breakdown to police.

Sheriff Stewart told Murphy, of Barna, Bally Dechmond, Mallow, County Cork, that he “could have caused catastrophe” on the motorway and fined him £900.