Man Avoids Jail For M23 U-Turn
12 August 2016, 14:34 | Updated: 12 August 2016, 14:47
Man drives wrong way on the M23
A man who travelled for 6 miles in the wrong direction along the M23 has been banned from driving.
79 year Keith Taylor- from Kings Lynn- had got confused after leaving an inbound flight at Gatwick airport.
He set off in the wrong direction before making a U-turn.
It was only police caught up with him near Maidenbower, Crawley that he stopped- despite oncoming cars having to take evasive action to avoid crashing into his blue Volkswagen Polo.
He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years.
Following the case, Sussex roads policing officer PC Mark Botevyle said:
" In more than 15 years as a police officer I have never encountered anything with such potential to have caused a major tragedy.
"It was around 15 minutes past midnight in the early hours of 28 January when this incident occurred. I was on patrol in a marked police car with my colleague PC Wayne Dixon when we were alerted by a radio message.
"The M23 was busy with traffic and it was only by sheer chance that no collision occurred. Clearly there was potential for a major pile-up and I am still amazed that this incident did not have more serious consequences."
"This all happened in darkness, adding to concerns that there might be a crash, and it is a timely reminder to all drivers never to let their concentration lapse.
"The best advice is to plan your journey properly, to make sure you are fit to drive and not to begin a journey if you are tired.
"If you do feel sleepy, stop in a safe place and rest. Do not stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway unless in an emergency."