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guilty plea Careless driver who got too close to vehicle in front 'was not trying to avoid toll'

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Ryan Meegan insisted he had not been trying to avoid a toll

Ryan Meegan insisted he had not been trying to avoid a toll

Ryan Meegan insisted he had not been trying to avoid a toll

A YOUNG driver who tailgated another vehicle as he went through the Dublin Port Tunnel toll plaza was in “automatic mode” on his way to work, a court has heard.

Ryan Meegan (20), an apprentice electrician, insisted he was not trying to avoid a toll but got too close to the vehicle in front when his tag failed to beep.

Judge Bryan Smyth fined him €300 at Dublin District Court.

Meegan, of Dundalk Road, Newtownhamilton, Newry, pleaded guilty to careless driving at the M50 Port Tunnel toll plaza in Dublin. He had been charged with dangerous driving but Judge Smyth reduced it to the lesser offence after hearing the evidence.

Garda Sergeant Tony Flanagan said the incident happened last June 1 when Meegan tailgated another vehicle coming through the toll barrier.

He came close to hitting the barrier. There was a safety issue in relation to tankers carrying hazardous loads including petrol in the area.

The prosecution maintained the tailgating was to avoid a toll but this was disputed by the defence.

The accused had been on his way to work and was in “automatic mode”, his lawyer said.

Meegan’s car had a tag but it did not beep, and he was not overly conscious of how close he was to the vehicle in front.

He accepted he was driving too close to it and that this fell “below prudent driving”.

Meegan needed his licence to travel to sites. He had no previous convictions.

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The judge did not ban him from driving.

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