A PENSIONER who collided with three schoolchildren as they crossed a busy road outside a secondary school has escaped a road ban.

Ian Steedman, 73, had just collected two children from outside Musselburgh Grammar School when he lost control of his car and ploughed into the three teenage pupils.

Steedman, of Edinburgh Road, Tranent, believed that his brakes had failed, causing him to strike the schoolchildren, but tests carried out later on his Honda Civic showed no problems with the braking system.

The grandad, who owns Bisset & Steedman in Tranent, later realised he had got his foot stuck under the brake pedal, causing him to lose control of the car last November.

Steedman had initially pleaded guilty to dangerous driving last month but changed his plea after seeking legal advice.

He appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court today (Monday), where he admitted an amended charge of careless driving by driving through a red light and colliding with three children and a vehicle at Musselburgh on November 7 last year.

Fiscal depute Nicole Lavelle told the court that Steedman had collected a young relative and a friend from outside the school at about 3.50pm before making his way onto the town’s Inveresk Road.

Ms Lavelle said: “As the accused drove he became aware he could not stop his vehicle and he consequently drove onto the opposite carriageway to avoid two vehicles which had stopped at a red light.

“As the 15-year-old boy passed halfway across the crossing, he was struck by the accused‘s vehicle, lifting him up on to the bonnet.

"The vehicle also delivered a glancing blow to two others.

“The accused’s vehicle continued through the crossing and collided with the front near side of a car.”

The fiscal said two of the school pupils who were struck were 15 years old and the third was 16.

Ms Lavelle added that the boy who landed on the bonnet of Steedman’s car received a large gash to his upper leg after he “ended up between the two vehicles” when they collided.

Ms Lavelle said the boy then landed on the roadway and was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary for treatment; he spent the night at the hospital.

Steedman subsequently had his eyes tested by police officers and the court heard he had “provided a negative breath test” following the incident.

Defending solicitor Mary Moultrie said that her client had taken “evasive action by pulling onto the opposite carriageway” after realising he could not brake in time.

Ms Moultrie added that Steedman “believed his brakes had failed” at the time of the collision but afterwards realised he “must have put his foot under the brake pedal”.

The lawyer said that Steedman had had a clean driving licence for the past 57 years and had been driving at a “very low speed” when he struck the three children.

Ms Moultrie added: “This a genuine one-off, isolated incident that is very regrettable.”

Sheriff Peter McCormack agreed and sentenced Steedman to a £400 fine and placed six penalty points on his driving licence.