Driving ban for blind man after crash

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Justice statue

A blind man has been banned from driving - after crashing on his first attempt. The 42-year-old, from Lanarkshire near Glasgow, made it less than a mile before crashing the car - and narrowly missing a pedestrian.

So how could he ever have been allowed to drive? And does this make it to the list of oddest things to have happened on the road?

The crash

Paul Keatings, who is registered blind and walks with the aid of a stick, had his first driving experience in May this year. He was out for a drive with a friend, and persuaded him to let him have a go at driving his Subaru.

According to the Daily Mail, they got less than a mile down the road before he crashed just outside the New Lanark Mill Hotel. He swerved across the road, just missed a pedestrian, and then crashed into a rock. It was all captured on CCTV.

He appeared in court, where he admitted to dangerous driving through blindness. He was disqualified for 32 months, and placed under supervision for two years. His friend was also banned for 32 years, given a two year community payback order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

How could get get behind the wheel?

Oddly Keatings had a provisional licence, which would have allowed him to drive under the supervision of his friend (if he had been insured). He had applied for the licence before his eyesight deteriorated in his twenties.

According to The Scotsman, he told the court that driving had been a lifetime dream, and since he had a provisional licence, and his friend had his hand on the wheel to guide it, he thought he would be OK. He has apologised for the incident.

Odd

Of course road accidents and road safety is a deadly serious business. No-one can underestimate the serious harm that can come from a seemingly trivial incident on the road. Having said that, over the years, there have been some really odd things to have happened on the road.

Last month George Michael was in the headlines after a bizarre incident when he fell out of the passenger seat of a Range Rover travelling at 70mph on the M1 near St Albans. He was very lucky not to get more seriously injured, and in the end spent two weeks in hospital recovering.

It's not his first odd incident on the road. Three years ago he was jailed for crashing his Range Rover into a branch of Snappy Snaps in Highgate, North London.

But he has competition for the title of strangest thing to happen on the road. Back in June in Toledo Ohio, a woman was driving down the street when a sinkhole opened up in front of her. It's thought that a water leak under the road made the ground unstable, until it eventually just collapsed. The driver managed to drive around the growing hole, but was pulled in as the sinkhole continued to expand. She was unharmed.

In May, a deer was crossing the road in Johnstown Pennsylvania when it was hit by a bus. The animal went through the windscreen and ended up inside the bus, so the unharmed driver opened the doors, and the deer trotted out.

But perhaps the oddest road incident happened back in 2011, when a 21-year-old student pilot, flying a small Cessna plane in eastern Quebec, was forced to make an emergency landing when the engine cut out. He brought the plane down in rush hour traffic on Highway 10 - and no-one was injured.