Man banned from driving for filming sports car outing on mobile phone

Closeup of police car sign with video unit vehicle in background.

Graham Weatherup, 26, of Roma Vale, Ashbank, Hawick, decided to make a short film on his mobile phone that showed him piloting his sports car with the roof down on a sunny day.
The clip was designed to serve as a reminder of "how nice it was" to be in a fast car with the roof down on one of the first glorious days of the year, but his actions attracted the attention of police and he has subsequently been banned from driving.

The incident occurred at around midday on February 28 last year on the A91 road between Guardbridge and Cupar in north east Fife.

In a video shown to Dundee Sheriff Court, the defendant can be seen setting up the camera phone and then accelerating past another car while holding the gadget in his hand.

The film shows Weatherup, a systems engineer at St Andrews University, holding the camera while taking bends at speed and, at one point, veering into the opposing carriageway and only returning to his lane before a car comes at him head on.

Weatherup claimed he was "in full control" of the car and could have reacted to any dangers.

Giving evidence in his own defence, Weatherup said: "It was the first beautiful day of the year. I was going abroad and I wanted to remember how nice it was.

"If danger had arisen I would have dropped the phone," reported the Evening Telegraph.

Sheriff Richard McFarlane rejected a plea from Weatherup's lawyer to find him guilty of the lesser offence of careless driving.

He said: "The film was taken over a significant distance.

"I have difficulty with how you could have been keeping a proper look out.

"How you can say you were in proper control when you were filming behind you is beyond me."

Sheriff McFarlane fined the careless driver - who has a previous fixed penalty fine for using a mobile phone while driving - £500 and banned him from the road for a year.

He also forfeited the LG Nexus mobile phone used to make the film and ordered him to re-sit an extended driving test.
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