Friday 24 March 2017

Three quizzed after men post film of reckless driving online

Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

GARDAI have seized two cars and interviewed a number of people after shocking footage showing a group of young men driving dangerously along a country road was posted on the internet.

Those involved have been branded 'Ireland's dumbest criminals' after they made no attempt to disguise their car registration plates and uploaded the film just days after the country's worst road crash which claimed the lives of eight people in Co Donegal.

The footage shows a driver with one hand and one leg out a window, while in another segment a passenger is seen sitting on the frame of the front passenger window with most of his body outside the car.

Some of the incidents happen while approaching a school crossing and on a bend in the road.

The footage was forwarded by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to gardai and is understood to have been filmed on country roads around Nenagh, Co Tipperary. The film is around six minutes long and was viewed more than 9,000 times on YouTube before it was taken down yesterday afternoon.

Gardai investigating the incident have since seized two cars and interviewed three people.

RSA chief executive Noel Brett said the footage was outrageous and someone could have been killed during filming.

"In one instance, the driver has one of his hands and his legs out the window so he couldn't brake if he needed to. They're also passing a 'slow, children crossing' sign and are overtaking on a continuous white line . . . It's crazy stuff.

"If a young child had cycled out on that road, if they had come around a corner and found a slow-moving tractor, it would have been mayhem.



Condemnation

"The only refreshing thing is that, in the main, the people who commented on the footage were pretty damning in their condemnation."

Mr Brett said that while the vast majority of young people were responsible drivers, there would always be a small cohort who refuse to abide by the law.

"Particularly in rural Ireland, whether young people are driving dangerously or burning doughnuts, we would urge people to talk to the parents of these young people and to report it to the gardai," he added.

AA Ireland public affairs manager Conor Faughnan branded those in the footage as "Ireland's dumbest criminals".

"Their behaviour is not just reckless and idiotic, it's criminal," he added.

The film is understood to have been shot using camera phones on roads around Nenagh, where several young lives have been lost in recent times.

Earlier this month, 18-year-old Thomas Clarke, of Silvermines, Nenagh, was jailed for two years for dangerous driving causing the death of three teenage friends on New Year's Eve 2008.

Friends Stuart Donnellan (14), Padraig Bourke (16) and Adrian O'Brien (17) died when the car being driven by Clarke went out of control going round a bend and crashed into a tree. Clarke drank 12 bottles of beer and a bottle of wine before getting behind the wheel and was speeding at the time.

Irish Independent

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