mechanic fined Petrol bicycles are 'half-baked and extraordinarily dangerous', judge warns apprentice
AN apprentice mechanic has been fined for riding an un- insured petrol-powered bicycle after a judge described the vehicles as "half-baked" and "extraordinarily dangerous".
Robert Baker (20) had fitted the engine to the bicycle as a garage project and took it on the road without realising it had to be registered and insured.
Judge Conal Gibbons fined him €250 but spared him a driving ban after hearing he would lose his job if he lost his licence.
Baker, of Kells Road, Crumlin, pleaded guilty to driving while uninsured and without a licence.
Garda Jeff Dolan said he was on Crumlin Road on October 22 last year when he saw the accused riding a bicycle with a petrol engine attached.
He stopped the accused and established the vehicle was untaxed and unregistered.
Baker had no previous convictions.
It was a regular bicycle with an engine that Baker had attached, defence solicitor Kate McGhee said.
The accused "just didn't know" the bicycle would "need all these things".
Ms McGhee said he thought it was like an electric scooter, which had only recently come under the law.
Other people in the garage saw it, he was out on it three or four times and he was even talking to a garda on it at one stage and the officer did not say anything, Ms McGhee said.
It was "not something that would have been widely known", she added.
"Putting those devices on a bike is an extraordinarily dangerous thing," the judge said.
"It stands to reason it wasn't designed to be propelled by an internal combustion engine.
"It's an extraordinarily dangerous implement to have on a public highway."
Ms McGhee said the engine came with a kit, the brakes were upgraded and Baker "didn't just slap on an engine".
"People have to understand if you are going to go out on the public highway with these kind of half-baked ideas, you are in trouble," the judge said.
Judge Gibbons accepted there was a special reason not to disqualify the accused.
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