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Mechanic banned after hitting 155kph

A MECHANIC who drove at over 150kph on the M50 motorway also tailgated another vehicle for a quarter of a mile and forced it to move out of the overtaking lane, a court heard.

Bobby Clarke (31) begged a judge not to impose a lengthy driving ban, saying he will lose his job if he is off the road for a long time. He apologised for his driving, admitting that he was "acting the clown".

A judge fined Clarke €1,000 and banned him from driving for three months.

The defendant, of Tullyvale Apartments, Cabinteely, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to two counts of careless driving.

The incidents took place on the M50 motorway shortly before 11pm on August 20 last.

Garda Sergeant Anthony Collins said he was in an unmarked patrol car when Clarke's 2000 Dublin-registered Mercedes drove past him on the overtaking lane.

Sgt Collins measured his speed, and it was 146kph. The sergeant said he again measured Clarke's speed at the M50/N4 junction and it was 155kph. He measured it a third time, at the N7/M50 junction, and the speed was 144kph.

Sgt Collins said that in the vicinity of the N7 junction, Clarke came up behind a second vehicle in the overtaking lane, and was forced to brake heavily to slow down.

He tailgated the car in front, driving excessively close to its back bumper for a quarter of a mile. The court heard that Clarke immediately stopped when gardai activated their blue lights and siren and indicated for him to pull over.

Judge Anthony Halpin said Clarke's driving could have proved fatal, particularly if another vehicle had pulled out in front of him. The defendant apologised for his driving, saying he needs his driving licence for his job as a car mechanic.