A South Armagh man was stopped by gardai on the M1 motorway after he was found towing a trailer with an oil tank on top, that wasn’t secured with straps or chains, Dundalk district court heard last week.
The court was told other motorists had to take evasive action as the oil tank and trailer were both moving about.
50 year old Stephen Malone with an address at Tievecrum Road, Forkhill was prosecuted for dangerous driving and driving a defective vehicle, arising out of the incident at Heynestown, Dundalk on the 10th of January last.
Insp. Martin Beggy told the court the defendant was driving a Transit van that was towing an oil tank on a twin axle trailer.
He said the tank was like those you would normally find on an rigid lorry and both the trailer and tanker “were listing to the right” and other motorists had to take evasive action.
PSV Inspector Sgt. Seamus Walsh who examined the trailer gave evidence that only one of its tyres were fit for purpose as the other three were car tyres.
He said there were no straps or chains to retain the tank in position and while the weight would be sufficient to keep it in place when stationary or moving in slow motion it would not stop it from sliding when moving at speed.
He said it was in an extremely dangerous and defective condition due to the brakes not functioning, the excessive weight on board and there were no effective rear lights.
The Defence barrister said there had been no accident involved and her client had got a loan of the trailer.
She added he had no previous convictions for such offences and urged the court to reduce the dangerous driving charge.
Judge Flann Brennan imposed a 300 euro fine for careless driving along with a three month driving ban as he said the accused was disqualified for two years and committed these offences within a very short time after that.
He said “He doesn’t seem to have learnt his lesson” and told the barrister. “He ought to know I could disqualify him for much longer”.