The case was heard in Naas
A man who opened the door of a stopped car during traffic congestion on the N7 has been fined after Naas District Court was told he knocked down a motorcyclist.
At the March 14 sitting of the court, Judge Desmond Zaidan heard what was described as an “unusual case.”
Hugh Kelleher (23) of Gortnpeasta, Clondrohid, Macroom, County Cork, was changed with “dangerous opening of a door”.
The incident took place on N7 near Kill on January 23, 2017.
Garda Sgt Jim Kelly, prosecuting, said Mr Kelleher was a passenger in a car driven by another person. The driver was suffering from fatigue and asked Mr Kelleher to drive instead.
The traffic was stopped.
When Mr Kelleher opened the door, the door hit a motorcyclist who was knocked off their bike and suffered a broken leg.
Sgt Kelly said the offence was unusual, “dangerous opening of a vehicle door.” Judge Desmond Zaidan asked if there was any malice involved. Sgt Kelly said it was “a freak accident.”
The judge questioned whether the driver could not have been charged on account of being in charge of the car.
Sarah Connolly BL, representing Mr Kelleher legally, said the traffic was stopped and the motorcyclist was travelling up between two lines of stopped traffic.
Judge Zaidan asked why motorcyclist should not stop in the traffic like every other vehicle and “toe the line”. He said motorcyclists and pedal cyclists weave in and out of traffic. “They are not helping (road safety),” he said.
Ms Connolly said her client said that he looked before he opened the door but in the time before the look and opening the door, the motorcyclist came. “He is embarrassed before the court and was wrong,” said said.
Judge Zaidan said people should be careful when opening doors but the case was a “difficult one.”
He said there was no lane for the motorcyclist who was knocked down. “The motorcyclist was taking a risk. He contributed to this. It is not a safe practice but is quite common.
Ms Connolly said her client was adamant he did not want to challenge the charge. Judge Zaidan fined him €400.