A careless driver, who during a lapse of concentration knocked down a traffic warden, was fined €500 at Galway District Court last Monday.
Donegal native Anne O’Donnell (35 ) with an address at 32 Leas Na Creige, Oughterard, pleaded guilty to careless driving at Moycullen Road on November 14, 2008.
Inspector Sean Glynn told the court that between 8.25 and 8.30am a school traffic warden had been standing on the road at Bushypark, near the junction of Circular Road, and had stopped traffic coming from the Clifden direction when the incident occurred.
The court heard that the defendant, who has no previous convictions, had been the first in a line of traffic turning to go into the city centre and did not see the traffic warden. O’Donnell proceeded out and hit the traffic warden who then fell onto the bonnett of the car, hitting her head, and cracking the windscreen with the stop sign. She was taken to UHG and made a full recovery.
O’Donnell’s solicitor said that the junction was “extremely dangerous” and that O’Donnell had a different view to the other drivers. O’Donnell thought she had seen a gap and did not see the traffic warden until the very last second. The solicitor added that O’Donnell had been driving very slowly and said that there should be traffic lights put in place at that junction.
“She’s been very lucky. It could have been a dangerous driving charge. However, the gardai accept that it wasn’t a deliberate act. A disqualification on careless driving would be quite unusual. It was a gross error of judgment,” said Judge Mary Fahy, who convicted and fined O’Donnell €500 with three months to pay.