Man drives seven miles down wrong side of Honiton bypass

PUBLISHED: 14:10 11 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 15 February 2019

One way traffic.

One way traffic.

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Confused motorist told he was fortunate there was no collision

Honiton bypass. Picture: GOOGLE MAPSHoniton bypass. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

A confused motorist has been banned from the roads after driving seven miles the wrong way down Honiton bypass.

Jalal Fatih had no idea he was on the wrong carriageway and carried on until he was stopped by police.

He was driving back to Plymouth after a trip to Brighton with his wife and family when he became confused by the road layout at the eastern end of the bypass.

The road changes from single to dual carriageway and he ended up going the wrong way, staying on what he thought was the left hand side of the road but was in fact the offside lane.

It happened at 10.45pm and by chance all the cars coming in the other direction stayed in the slow lane and so there was no collision, Exeter Crown Court was told on Friday (February 8).

Fatih, 55, of Lanhydrock Road, Plymouth, admitted dangerous driving and was conditionally discharged for three years and banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to take an extended re-test.

Recorder Philip Mott QC told him: “This was a very dangerous situation that you created by making a genuine mistake before driving for seven miles the wrong way on a dual carriageway.

“It was quite clearly a genuine mistake. You had your wife, daughter and grandchildren in your car and as soon as you saw the blue lights of the police car coming the other way, you pulled over into a lay-by and stopped.

“It is extremely fortunate there was not a collision.

“You created a very serious risk to your own life and the lives of all those in your car as well as those in the cars coming in the opposite direction.

“If there had been a collision, you would have been responsible for the death or injury which resulted and no doubt a prison sentence would have followed.”

Arif Ashraf, defending, said: “It was a genuine mistake but there were issues with the signage and lack of illumination when he went from the single to the dual carriageway. The slip roads he could have taken were on the other side of the road.”

He said Fatih was born in Iraq but is a British citizen who is disabled and looks after his disabled wife, her disabled sister, and his son who was Down’s syndrome.

He said he needs his licence to take his family to hospital visits but will struggle to take the written part of the extended driving test because his English is poor. He has no savings and is living on benefits.

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