A local transport company was fined €550 and had costs awarded against it after it was found to have been in breach of transport regulations during a hearing into the matter at last week’s sitting of Longford District Court.
Barry Express (Longford) Ltd, Sligo Road, Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with being the operator of a motor vehicle and employer of Mark Healy that failed to make checks to ensure regulation on dates between February 1, 2016 and May 12, 2016.
The company was also further charged with two counts of allowing a driver to travel for over seven hours without taking a break.
Ms Sheppard from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said in her direct evidence to the court that she was on duty at Ballygar, Co Galway on the date in question when she stopped a truck that was being driven by Mark Healy.
“I carried out checks on the typograph and it was clear that the appropriate breaks had not been taken,” she added, before pointing out to the court that it was stipulated by law that a lorry driver must take a 45 minute break after driving for four and a half hours.
Ms Sheppard then went on to say that she paid a visit to Barry Express HQ in Longford on June 16 last and met with the owner, Ms Barry.
“She confirmed that she was the transport manager and that Mr Healy had been employed by the company,” the RSA transport officer confirmed.
In mitigation, the defendant’s solicitor Frank Gearty said that a new digital system for tracking all regulations was being used by the company, but it had taken “time” for Ms Barry to get her head around it.
“It was in place at the time of the incident, but unfortunately Ms Barry had difficulty coming to grips with it,” added Mr Gearty, before pointing out that the Longford company employed 23 people and had 16 trucks on the road.
“It was a new system and really Judge, that was the problem.”
Following his deliberations on the matter Judge Hughes convicted the defendant on both charges and fined her €300 and €250 respectively.
The Judge also awarded costs of €733 against Barry Express (Longford) Ltd which he pointed out had been in business since 1989 and contributed immensely to the local economy.