Ta­cho­graph charge against Cour­town driver is dis­missed

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

A COUR­TOWN truck driver had a charge of fail­ure to use a record sheet or driver card against him struck out af­ter gar­daí were un­able to prove ‘be­yond rea­son­able doubt’ that he hadn’t kept the proper records on the day he was in­volved in a se­ri­ous ac­ci­dent.

John Fleming of Sandy View, Sandy Lane, Ar­damine, Cour­town, faced the charge aris­ing from a ma­jor road traf­fic col­li­sion at Is­land Up­per, Craan­ford, Gorey, on March 2 of last year.

Garda Pi­eter Haan­drik­man told the court that the in­ci­dent in­volved a truck car­ry­ing kegs go­ing through cross­roads and col­lid­ing with a van.

He said that, while on the day his pri­or­ity was with the driver of the van who was se­ri­ously in­jured, he later asked Fleming for de­tails of the ta­cho­graph which he was un­able to pro­vide. So­lic­i­tor Anthony O’Gor­man ques­tioned whether there was a lot of de­bris on the road, to which the Garda re­sponded yes that there was lots of de­bris with dock­ets etc on the road.

He also asked about the dam­age to the truck, to which Garda Haan­drik­man replied that there was se­vere im­pact and dam­age to the front of the truck.

Re­tired PSV in­spec­tor Stu­art O’Sul­li­van told the court that the truck was in good road-wor­thy con­di­tion at the time of the ac­ci­dent. He said that he noted that the ta­cho­graph head was open and there was no ta­cho­graph present.

When asked where this open com­part­ment was, Mr O’Sul­li­van replied that it was over the driver’s head. Mr O’Gor­man asked if it was pos­si­ble that the head had opened on im­pact caus­ing its con­tents to spill out, to which he replied yes that it ‘def­i­nitely’ would have opened on im­pact.

‘It’s pos­si­ble that the card came out on im­pact,’ said Judge Haughton. ‘The case needs to be proven be­yond a rea­son­able doubt.

‘There’s in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence and for that rea­son I’m go­ing to dis­miss the case.’

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