CD change in car results in €1,000 fine

A man who veered across the road into an oncoming vehicle while changing a CD has been fined €1,000 for careless driving.

John Campbell (68 ) of Ballyowen, Killucan was driving from Killucan towards Delvin on March 29, 2009 at 1.15pm when he veered across the road. As he tried to right himself, he hit an oncoming car on the passenger side.

Because he was pulling a trailer the impact was considerable and caused significant damage, Garda Gerard O’Rourke told Mullingar District Court.

The driver of the other car wasn’t able to take evasive action because the incident happened so quickly. The driver and two passengers were injured and had to be taken to hospital and a bull in Mr Campbell’s trailer was injured and had to be put down.

Mr Campbell’s solicitor said her client thought he had been changing a CD when the incident occurred, and accepted responsibility for the accident. He was unconscious after it.

Garda O’Rourke said no mobile phone had been found in the car afterwards.

Judge John Neilan said it was fortunate there had been no fatalities and said the accident occurred not because of an error of judgement but a “serious failing” on Mr Campbell’s behalf “in engaging in something that moved his attention totally from his driving”.

On hearing that Mr Campbell relies on his licence for his 200 acre farm which he runs by himself, the judge said he had sympathy for him but that “the victims of this accident were totally innocent”.

He was given three months to pay the €1,000 fine.

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