'Reckless driving', Judge Mary Larkin
THE driver of one of two cars that became involved in a high-speed incident on the motorway to Adare in an “extended moment of madness” appeared at Newcastle West court on a charge of careless driving.
But Owen Grey Parkes, Rooskagh West, Athea, had the charge reduced, on a plea, to the lesser one of driving without due consideration and was fined €500.
The driver of the other car, the court heard, was also being prosecuted.
Garda John Shanahan, outlining the incident to the court, said he was on patrol heading towards Adare last May 29 and driving in the slow lane when he saw two cars overtaking at speed on the motorway. The second car was driven by Grey Parkes.
It was rush hour and he followed both cars, and recorded them speeding at 160kph and forcing other cars off the fast lane into the slow lane.
Both increased speed to 180kph, the garda said.
“There was no way I could safely pull in the drivers,” he said.
At one stage, the garda explained, Grey Parkes’ car was only feet away from the car in front.
Pleading for his client, solicitor Rossa McMahon said it could only be described as an extended moment of madness.
His client was 47 and drove that road on a daily basis to and from work, explained the solicitor.
“He got stuck behind the other car, tried to overtake but it would not allow him to do so. It spiralled into the mad situation described by Garda Shanahan,” Mr McMahon said.
When eventually stopped, Mr Parkes didn’t appreciate the level of speed he was doing at the time, he added.
Since then, his client had switched insurance companies and acquired an app which tracks and monitors his driving, Mr McMahon said.
He wanted to do so as a remedial action and the results were very positive. Having driven over 3,900 miles, the stats showed 94% speed compliance.
“This was an out of character incident which he very much regrets,” the solicitor said.
Describing it as “reckless driving”, Judge Mary Larkin fined Parkes €500.