A 73-year-old man who denied a charge of careless driving but who then admitted in court that he did drive carelessly was put off the road for two years when he appeared before Carlow District Court recently.
Seamus Mahon, Garrough Lodge, Garrough, Ballickmoyler was found guilty of driving carelessly at Garrough, Portlaoise Road, Carlow on 11 December 2015.
James Lawless was a motorist who was involved in a collision with Mr Mahon’s tractor when Mr Mahon was reversing across the Portlaoise Road that day.
Mr Lawless told the court that he was driving from Carlow to Portlaoise when he saw Mr Mahon manoeuvring his tractor and trailer across the road. He said that he braked hard but that he crashed into the front of the defendant’s tractor.
Under cross-examination, Mr Lawless said that he initially saw the tractor on the opposite side of the road and that he didn’t know that it was going into reverse. Solicitor Joe Farrell for Mr Mahon put it to him that he was distracted, but Mr Mahon denied this.
Garda Michael Nolan, who inspected both the car and the tractor, said that Mr Lawless’s car had excessively worn back tyres, which would have affected its stop time.
Investigating Garda Colin Kavanagh said that Mr Mahon told him that he was reversing across the road because he wanted to speak to someone who had been parked there.
In his own direct evidence, Mr Mahon said that the road was clear when he started the manoeuvre and that he checked the road to see if there was any oncoming traffic.
In cross-examination by Inspector Conor Furlong, Mr Mahon said he knew that he wasn’t supposed to drive across double-white lines but that the road was clear when he started to reverse.
He then agreed with the inspector that it was careless of him to carry out the manoeuvre.
Judge Daly found that the state had met its case and disqualified Mr Mahon from driving for two years, while fining him €500 for driving carelessly.
Mr Mahon was fined a further €300 in connection with the markings on his vehicle.