STRICTER checks on elderly motorists would not have prevented the death of a cyclist knocked down by a 93-year-old woman, a sheriff has ruled.

Elaine Dunne, 30, died while cycling in the Highlands after being struck by a car driven by Alice Ross, who suffered a suspected blackout at the wheel.

Calls had been made for compulsory health checks for older drivers following the tragedy amid fears failing health will result in avoidable deaths on Scotland's roads.

Crown Office officials had suggested older drivers should be required to have health checks and renew their driving licences every two years once they are into their 80s.

However, following a fatal accident inquiry into Mrs Dunne's death, Sheriff Andrew Berry said a stricter licensing regime would not have prevented her death and refused to make any recommendations for new regulations.

He concluded that there was nothing in Mrs Ross' medical history to indicate she should not have been driving at the time.

In his determination, he said: "There is nothing in the facts of this matter that would allow me to conclude that if Mrs Ross had been required, in terms of being say over the age of 80, to renew her licence to drive every two years, as opposed to every three years, that this would have prevented the accident.

"For the avoidance of any doubt the facts and circumstances of this tragedy bear no comparison whatever with a situation such as where an individual might, having suffered repeated ill health failed, in defiance of common sense, to seek medical advice; or failed to desist from driving pending medical advice."

The FAI at Wick Sheriff Court heard Mrs Ross, now 96, had suffered a blackout a month before the crash and had no memory of the accident on the A99 between John O'Groats and Wick in September 2011.

She surrendered her licence following the accident.

A charge of causing death by ­dangerous driving against Mrs Ross was dropped when the Crown Office accepted her defence that the accident was caused by an underlying medical condition.

Mrs Dunne, from Leicester, was on a cycling holiday with her husband, Christopher, to celebrate their first wedding anniversary when she was hit and killed. Mr Dunne was also seriously injured.