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24/09/2021

Dundalk man charged with cycling without reasonable consideration

Dundalk man charged with cycling without reasonable consideration

Dundalk courthouse

A cyclist who was hit by a car after he rode out from a footpath in front of it as it crossed at a junction, was last week convicted at Dundalk District Court of riding a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration.

Francis O'Hanlon (54) with an address at Ashbrook, Tom Bellew Avenue had contested the case, which arose from a collision on November sixth 2019.

The woman who was driving the car which struck the defendant's bike, told the court she had driven down Mary Street South and had crossed its junction at Dublin Street, when a cyclist came from the footpath on the right hand side and hit the front of her car.

She asked him if he was ok, and he said his ribs were sore.

When questioned by Insp Liam Archbold, the witness said the defendant "Went straight across the road - to me he didn't look". She said she was badly shaken.

During cross examination by the Defence, the woman said she had got two penalty points and an €80 fine, as the gardai deemed her to be partly at fault.

The investigating Garda gave evidence that the defendant, who had passed a roadside breath test, had told him "he thought she was letting him go".

The garda took possession of footage from the women's dash cam dashcam.

He said the car had been edging out from Mary St. South before crossing Dublin Street and a cyclist coming from the footpath hit her vehicle on the road having "made no attempt to stop".

He said the car was going very slowly and the bike was moving 'at speed'.

The Defence unsuccessfully applied to have the case dismissed - saying the motorist had accepted 'she had fault', there was no independent footage played to the court and an independent witness who had phoned for an ambulance doesn't seem to have been sought out.

Mr. O'Hanlon then gave evidence, telling the court it was easier to be on the footpath and safer as he claimed it was more dangerous to cycle on the road, on the correct side of the street.

He said he looked across and thought the driver "gave me clear way to go ahead".
Judge Eirinn McKiernan said: "Isn't that the problem - you presumed she stopped for you".

The Defence barrister again argued his client - having checked across, had shown reasonable consideration for other road users.

Judge McKiernan said it was a very unfortunate set of circumstances but the defendant should not have presumed the other vehicle would stop.

The case was put back for a week to clarify if the 54 year old can make a donation to the poor box, which his barrister said is possible as the offence does not carry penalty points.

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