A judge has banned a Bus Éireann driver from driving for one year after stating that he “is a danger on the road”.
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan imposed the 12 month driving ban and a €750 fine on Kenneth Folman (43) of Gleann an Trá, Sandy Road, Galway after convicting him of careless driving at Bunratty on October 25th, 2018.
In the incident at a roadworks at Bunratty, Mr Folman drove his bus carrying passengers from Cork from Shannon airport over three traffic cones after ‘getting a bit thick’ with the roadworks foreman, the court heard.
Judge Durcan said Mr Folman tried to “bulldoze his way” in the situation. “Mr Folman’s conduct was nothing short of scandalous. He is obviously a man with a short temper and a short fuse.
“Mr Folman is not in my view a person who should be driving at all. Any driver who behaves in the manner in how Mr Folman behaved is a danger on the road.”
Mr Folman was charged with dangerous driving but Judge Durcan said he was satisfied that there was no element of dangerous driving and reduced the charge to driving without due care and attention.
Solicitor for Mr Folman, Daragh Hassett made a plea with Judge Durcan not to ban Mr Folman because of the impact it could have on his employment with Bus Éireann.
In response, Judge Durcan said: “I appreciate a disqualification will have a life-changing effect on your client, but I feel my hands are tied.”
Descrbing the incident, Sgt Louis Moloney told the court that Mr Folman ignored all signs and advance warnings about the pending road closure and drove around the diversion onto the incorrect side of the road, forcing vehicles to leave the road.
Sgt Moloney said Mr Folman spoke with a member of the motorway maintenance crew and he was informed the road was closed and to turn around.
According to Sgt Moloney, Mr Folman told the person that if he did not remove the cones he would drive through them, He then drove through the traffic cones and back onto the dual carriageway.
Sgt Moloney said that Mr Folman has three previous driving convictions — careless driving, speeding and driving over a continuous white line.