Dangerous driver (81) overtook at blind bend


The driver overtook at a bend on the A4 road.

AN 81-YEAR-OLD driver has been banned from the road after overtaking a string of cars at a blind bend on the A4 Belfast Road.
John Quinn of Lakeview Park, Dungannon appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday where he denied a charge of dangerous driving, instead offering a guilty plea to careless driving.
At approximately 12.30pm on July 7 this year Quinn overtook a number of vehicles, including an articulated lorry and trailer, at a bend on the road near Brookeborough. Evidence from a number of witnesses stated Quinn, who had been travelling to see his daughter in Sligo at the time, would not have been able to see beyond the bend.
A police officer who seen Quinn’s manoeuvre while travelling behind in a police car said cars coming from the opposite direction were forced to take evasive action, pulling into the hard-shoulder, while a car travelling in front of the lorry on Quinn’s own side of the road also had to pull into the hard-shoulder so his silver Kia could pull back in again.
When police stopped the defendant he told them he’d thought he would able to see the road ahead but realised upon overtaking that he couldn’t. Quinn admitted other cars had to pull into avoid him.
Defence barrister Ciaran Roddy said Quinn accepted his driving had been careless and was “of an ill advised nature”, but said it was not careless enough to be considered dangerous driving under the law. The barrister added the were circumstances where such a manoeuvre could be carried out safely.
Mr Roddy also said all the road users involved had the benefit of the hard-shoulder to avail of, stating the case would be much more clear-cut if there had been no hard-shoulder .
District Judge Nigel Broderick said both the lorry and the trees on the bend would have obscured Quinn’s view. He added if he was to accept Mr Roddy’s point about the hard-shoulder it would give “carte blanche” to other drivers.
Judge Broderick said he’d considered the matter carefully and said it was highly fortunate Quinn’s driving had not caused an accident. He said he was satisfied the manoeuvre had been dangerous and convicted Quinn of the charge.
The judge added it was unfortunate that after more than 60 years of driving without incident Quinn was now before the court.
Taking his clear record into account, Judge Broderick disqualified him from driving for 12 months and fined him £250.

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