A MOTORIST whose car veered across a road and hit a kerb at 2am on July 4 last year claimed it happened because he thought the flashing blue lights of a police vehicle were an ambulance and he grabbed the steering wheel "too sharply" whilst intending to pull in and let it by.
Trevor Elder (53), of Dermott Road, Comber, was speaking at Newtownards Magistrates Court.
He pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Comber Road, Newtownards.
A prosecutor said police saw a car doing "considerable speed" and they activated emergency lights for the vehicle to stop.
The vehicle "veered to the right, crossed the road, drove against the flow of traffic, before hitting a kerb and then returning back into its correct lane and stopping for police".
The defendant was the only person present in the vehicle at the time.
The defendant told the court he had left people home from his daughter's 18th birthday.
On the way home he then saw "blue lights" in his rear view mirror.
He "thought it was an ambulance" so he intended to pull in and let it by.
The defendant said he "grabbed the steering wheel too sharply and it took me to the right for about two seconds".
Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer noted the defendant had two previous careless driving convictions, the last one being in 2006.
He said: "I was momentarily minded to disqualify you because according to the police version of events you drove into the oncoming lane for a period of time and hit the kerb but I listened to you explanation about being concerned it might be an emergency vehicle behind you so I will take that into account".
The defendant was given six penalty points and fined £400.