A motorist who lost his appeal against his 14th driving test failure has claimed the the testers had a vendetta against him but the judge urged him to try again.
Judge Olann Kelleher asked tester Stefan Olar: “Do you feel sorry for him?”
Mr Olar replied: “There is a danger on the road and I cannot overlook it.”
Mr Olar said that Raymond Heffernan, aged 65, of Mount Brosna, Mayfield, Cork, drove well for the first 20 minutes of the 35-minute test but then he had the first of two incidents of dangerous driving.
The judge said everyone was hoping Mr Heffernan would finally pass after 14 unsuccessful attempts and a 47-year history of driving. Even the tester wanted this — “I was hoping he was going to pass,” Mr Olar said.
Mr Heffernan said: “It is going on a bit too long now, your honour.”
Mr Heffernan cross-examined the tester about the last ill-fated test on March 31: “Were you in danger in my car?”
Mr Olar replied: “Yes.”
Mr Heffernan repeated: “You were in danger in my car?”
Mr Olar replied: “Twice.”
Mr Heffernan said: “If you were in danger in my car you would stop my car and get out.”
Mr Olar said the least serious fault in a test is a grade 1. Next is grade 2, of which the motorist is allowed to have eight. He said Mr Heffernan had seven, so his failure was not as a result of grade 1 or 2 faults. However, he said grade 3 faults were given for dangerous or potentially dangerous driving. Even one of those faults would result in an outright failure of the test. He said Mr Heffernan had two grade 3 faults.
He described one of them in detail: “It was for not giving way at a roundabout to a car coming from the right. It was a lady in a blue car and she had to put on her brakes and beep for a long time.”
Mr Heffernan said: “He was never in any danger in my car. My car did not break down or anything. Stop this vendetta against me. I mean to say, common sense, it is not rocket science.”
Judge Kelleher said the court had only one issue to decide: If there was evidence of bias on the part of the tester against the person being tested. He said there was no such evidence so he had to refuse the appeal.
However, he added: “I have huge sympathy for you. But I cannot do any more about it. I think you would be better off to go back to this man [Mr Olar].
Mr Heffernan said: “If I could get it free — it is €85 a time.”
The judge said someone might sponsor him. “I am refusing your application but I wish you the best and I hope you do it again very soon,” he said.
The appellant said he had driven in Ireland and Britain over the past 47 years and never had an accident, except where a motorist crashed into him in 2008.
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