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£200 fine for lorry driver who pulled on to hard shoulder of motorway to charge his phone

He was told: 'Driving a lorry whilst distracted using a mobile phone is potentially a very dangerous thing to do'

A lorry driver who pulled on to the hard shoulder on the motorway to plug his phone on charge has been hit with a £200 fine.

The district judge told the 48-year-old: “Driving a lorry whilst distracted using a mobile phone is potentially a very dangerous thing to do.”

Damien O’Neill, 48, of Jamaica Court, Belfast, pleaded guilty to being unable to properly control his vehicle at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Court heard that on August 20, police on patrol of the M1, Craigavon, watched as a lorry in front of them deviated on to the hard shoulder.

Officers pulled up behind the vehicle to speak to the driver and noted that he had a mobile phone in his right hand.

The defendant told police that he had been plugging his phone in to charge.

O’Neill was charged with being unable to properly control his vehicle and was handed a fixed penalty of £30.

However, the defendant was unable to produce his licence to police.

Defence counsel stated: “At the time his licence was in Coleraine as he had six penalty points to be added to it.

“He has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and needs his licence as he works as a lorry driver travelling all over the island.”

Deputy District Judge John Rea told O’Neill: “Driving a lorry whilst distracted using a mobile phone is potentially a very dangerous thing to do.”

The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of £200, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 10 weeks.

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