THE manager of a car dealership whose driving 'bordered on arrogance' when he overtook at speed in dense fog has been given a suspended sentence jail sentence and been banned from the road for 18 months.

Daniel Bull raced up behind a line of traffic then passed on double white lines when visibility was as low as 30 metres.

The 30-year-old, of St Mary's Road, Market Lavington, then tailgated another vehicle a few miles down the road before again overtaking, missing a head-on smash by a few seconds.

Bull, general sales manager of Swindon Audi, was caught as both cars he passed contained off-duty traffic cops, who were horrified by what they saw.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Bull was driving home to Market Lavington in thick fog on the A4361 on December 17

At about 9.30pm she said accident investigator PC James Trafford was driving in the thick fog near Berwick Bassett when he saw a car approach rapidly behind him.

As he negotiated a long sweeping left hand bend the Audi SQ5 behind braked hard, as it was going so much faster, then overtook him and two cars in front of his, despite central hazard lines.

"PC Trafford was so concerned about the driving he made a note of the number plate," Miss Squire said.

When he got to police headquarters in Devizes he spoke to colleagues who had also seen the same car about 10 minutes later.

PC Lee Mayhew, who had a couple of colleagues with him, was driving through Avebury on the same road when Bull came up behind him.

The Audi was so close he couldn't see its headlights in his mirror before it pulled out and passed his car and the van in front, causing the officer to swear in shock.

Within seconds the officer saw the lights of a car coming the other way, causing PC Mayhew to note: 'It was only pure luck no-one was killed or injured'.

Bull later told police he drove the road four times a day and his car had extremely powerful LED lights, meaning he had perfect visibility to carry out the manoeuvres he did. However he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.

Simon Goodman, defending, said although his client had driving offences against his name he was otherwise a thoroughly decent member of society.

He said he was a hard working, well respected, manager who works in a trade where there may be a sense of invincibility when they get behind the wheel.

But he said the thought of prison had sent a message, not only to him but also to friends and colleagues who regarded it as just a bad bit of overtaking.

Passing sentence Judge Tim Mousley QC said: "This was a prolonged and sustained piece of driving.

"The speed you were travelling at was obviously completely inappropriate for the prevailing conditions.

"At times your driving was aggressive coming up at speed behind other cars that were not travelling at the speed you were travelling at and then carrying out completely inappropriate manoeuvres.

"It is only really a matter of luck rather than judgement on your part that you didn't cause any injuries.

"Your driving was reckless in the extreme, I am satisfied that you didn't think at all about other road users whilst you were driving in that way. It seems to me that your attitude towards driving in that way borders on arrogance."

He imposed a 10-month jail term suspended for 18 months with 250 hours of unpaid work and banned him from driving for 18 months and until he passed an extended test.