With 10 minutes to get to the NCT centre a young man, doing a favour for his aunt, rushed down a road during bad conditions overtaking numerous cars, including one driven by a garda, before being stopped by waiting officers, the Galway District Court heard.
Patryk Polom (20 ) with an address at 25 Masons Close, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, pleaded guilty to two counts of careless driving at Clonboo and driving without insurance, failure to produce insurance, being an unaccompanied provisional driver, and non display of L plates, at Headford Road on October 18, 2010. Two counts of dangerous driving were withdrawn by the State.
Garda Gerard Sweeney told Monday’s court sitting that at 1.40pm Garda Conor Ledwith had been driving his car in the direction of Galway when he noticed another vehicle driving recklessly. Garda Ledwith rang ahead asking for gardaí to stop the offending vehicle. When stopped by gardaí Polom said that he had been on his way to the NCT centre to get his aunt’s car tested. It was noted that Polom had insurance for his own car but not for the one he was driving on this occasion.
The court heard that Garda Ledwith had made an allegation that Polom had overtaken two cars while passing Cunniffe’s filling station in Clonboo, and that he again overtook a number of vehicles including Garda Ledwith’s car, when “conditions were not right” and making it dangerous for other road users.
Garda Sweeney said that the road had not been good, that Polom was rushing at the time as he had 10 minutes to get to the NCT centre, and that the vehicle was seized.
Polom’s solicitor explained that the car belonged to her client’s aunt who does not drive and who had intended to sell the vehicle. She said that Polom, who has no previous convictions, had attempted to phone his insurance company before he left to ensure that he was covered to drive the car. She added that Polom, who is originally from Poland, had been doing a favour for his aunt.
“He’s a very foolish young man, I’m worried by his driving,” said Judge Mary Fahy.
The solicitor said that Polum has applied for his full driving licence and that he is “not in the joy riding set”.
“Young people in a hurry often do not think about the consequences. I didn’t think he was a joy rider,” replied Judge Fahy, who then fined the defendant €600 with six months to pay for the two counts of careless driving and an additional €400 for driving without insurance. She added that on this occasion a disqualification from driving will not be imposed and took the other remaining offences into account.