Motorist avoids conviction after failing to get policy app

A young motorist who failed to download an app which monitored her driving as part of her insurance policy has avoided a conviction for driving without insurance.

Modern technology was now “applying itself” to road traffic legislation, Judge James O’Connor remarked at Killarney District Court, and he was striking out a prosecution for no insurance.

The judge said it would not be fair to impose a conviction on the 23-year-old motorist for having no insurance after hearing how her policy was cancelled because she had failed to download an app onto her mobile phone.

Aoife Breen, of Knockataggle, Kilcummin, Killarney, was before a sitting of Killarney District Court on a charge of driving without due care and attention, and on a second charge of having no insurance at Laharn, Faha, Killarney on January 6, 2016.

Ms Breen was paying a premium of €1,800 to Axa Insurance which included a 7.5% discount for young people who downloaded the Drive Safe App, onto her mobile phone, her solicitor, Brendan Bradley told the court.

As part of the agreement, Ms Breen was obliged to upload information also, so that all her journeys and driving could be monitored by Axa; and a specified distance would have to be recorded over a 90-day period and other conditions.

She had a window of only seven days to download the app, Mr Bradley also explained.

“My client omitted, regrettably, to download the app,” Mr Bradley said.

The insurance policy was cancelled as a result.

The court was told how on the date in question she was involved in a road traffic collision with another car on a narrow road. Effectively she had lost control of her car after over-correcting on a blind hill in which neither party could see the other.

Although five people were brought to hospital there were no serious injuries.

Judge James O’Connor said it would not be fair to convict Ms Breen of having no insurance.

“Modern technology is applying itself to road traffic legislation and I don’t think it’s fair to convict her,” the judge said.

The judge also remarked that she had “over-compensated” coming out of a margin and he convicted her of the lesser charge of driving without reasonable consideration under Section 51 (a) of the Road Traffic Act 2011. He imposed a fine of €175 imposed with 10 months to pay.


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