A case of dangerous driving was described as “borderline” by Judge John Aylmer at Carrick-on- Shannon Circuit Court who reduced it to one of careless driving on appeal.
Diarmuid Walsh, Cloonshanagh, Rooskey, Co Roscommon appealed against his District Court conviction for dangerous driving at Faulties Townland, Dromod, Co Leitrim on April 16, 2017.
Sgt Ronan Mooney said he was driving his private vehicle with his family on that date and was coming off the N4 dual carriageway heading in the direction of Carrick-on-Shannon.
A car being driven by the appellant exited from his left hand side off the old Dromod Road at speed.
Sgt Mooney said he realised the driver would not be able to stop and he had to take evasive action by pulling out into the opposite turning lane and hatched markings to avoid a collision.
Sgt Mooney initially braked but had momentum to get past Mr Walsh and move back into his own lane.
He said that Mr Walsh then overtook him on a continuous white line. Sgt Mooney phoned ahead to Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station and gave them details of Mr Walsh's car which was stopped.
Judge Aylmer said, “It's very borderline. This matter could have been a lot worse had Sgt Mooney not been so vigilant and anticipated what was happening.” He said he would treat it as a lesser charge of careless driving.
The court heard Mr Walsh is now 26 and was 22 at the time of the offence.
He accepted the evidence and that his driving on that occasion fell below the standard required coming onto a main road and had learned “a dear lesson.”
He uses his driving licence every day for work and has a partner and two young children and is also taking care of his father during the pandemic.
Judge Aylmer said that because he had no previous convictions and is heavily dependent on his licence it would inflict a very severe penalty on him to impose a disqualification.
He removed the disqualification but otherwise affirmed the District Court order which carried a €300 fine.