Tachograph charge against Courtown driver is dismissed
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.’