Driver who overtook in path of on-coming car 'not dangerous'
Chris Donegan • Published 12 Oct 2012 17:01
A 39-year-old driver who pulled out to overtake a police car when there was a vehicle coming in the opposite direction was not driving dangerously, a judge has ruled.
Vytautas Arbaciauskas, of College Park Lane, Enniskillen, appeared at Fermanagh Court and admitted that his driving was careless but denied it was dangerous.
The prosecutor refused to accept his plea to the less serious charge but after hearing the evidence District Judge Mervyn Bates found Arbaciauskas not guilty of dangerous driving.
He fined him £300 and banned him from driving for four months.
The court heard that police were travelling along the Ballagh Road at Fivemiletown when Arbaciauskas drove up behind them "fairly quickly" and then overtook them without indicating. There was a car coming in the opposite direction and the driver of the police car was forced to brake to allow Arbaciauskas back on to his own side of the road and avoid a collision.
The District Judge said this was a straight forward driving manoeuvre which Arbaciauskas performed "very badly".
Defence barrister, Mr. Stephen Mooney, pointed out that Arbaciauskas had previously escaped a driving ban after he accumulated 12 penalty points but for some reason was not disqualified.
The District Judge said: "My main concern is how should he be dealt with for this poor piece of driving."
Mr. Mooney told the court that Arbaciauskas has been living here for eight years and for the first six was employed in a local factory but lost the index finger and top of the middle finger of his right hand in an industrial accident.
The District Judge said: "I have decided this was careless driving but shading into the category not far short of dangerous driving."
He told Arbaciauskas that was based on the manner of his driving and his failure to take into account other road users.
He warned Arbaciauskas that he has a suspended jail sentence for assaulting police and that: "If you drive while disqualified it's an imprisonable offence."