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Stupid tailgating

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EIGHTY kilometres from home on the final leg of a three-week 7,000km roadtrip taking in unrestricted Autobahn routes, nine Alpine passes, a few busy Italian cities and London’s M25 only to encounter the most dangerous leg of the journey – from Adare to Newcastlewest. Not a dangerous road but a dangerous driver. We all encounter stupid on the road and sometimes we do stupid and generally we can accept stupid as a one-off act but being stupid for a longer period of time is unacceptable.

On leaving the town of Adare I noticed in my rear-view mirror a young lady in a red VW Golf approach quite rapidly behind me. Bear in mind my journey to date and that home is close, I wasn’t hanging about. There was a long line of traffic entering Adare. An overtaking opportunity for her was greatly reduced.

She couldn’t set up an overtaking manoeuvre but she was still closing quickly until she reached the point that I was unable to see her car's headlights in my rear-view mirror. There are rules around this but I have a simple one, if I can’t see the number plate of the following car in my rear-view mirror, that car is in my space. Now we have a problem – she had well and truly entered my space. Standing in line for a rock concert, uncomfortable – 100kph in a car, absolutely looking to pick a fight. However I’m not that type of guy (on this occasion) so I slowed enough to let her pass when the opportunity presented itself.

A quick check in the mirror, she doesn’t seize the opportunity – in fact, she is looking to her left and appears to be texting. She is now driving her car using peripheral vision and my bumper as her reference. Now I am concerned, again I can’t see the headlights, that is how close she is. Her sixth sense has well and truly captured my attention.

My first attempt at creating distance didn’t work, so now I put another car between us. This only worked for a moment as that car pulled in. Maybe I should do the same but I just want to get home. However I tried it again on two more occasions but she followed on both and resumed tailgating.

On my last attempt to put distance, she races up to my bumper, this time drinking from a coffee cup and again looking to her left and still appears to be texting. For a brief moment when she looked out the windscreen I seized the opportunity to signal my concerns. A tip on the brake pedal – enough to engage the brake lights but not to slow my progress.

Her reaction caused her to spill the contents of her coffee cup on herself and drop her phone. Putting aside my fear of a potential accident I am impressed at her ability to multitask; tailgate, text and take on refreshments, all at 100kph.

Unfortunately this spillage has given her something else to do while tailgating and texting. However once all cleaned up, normal activities resume, back to texting and, oh yes, tailgating. I am impressed.

Newcastlewest only a few kilometres away; on safety grounds it may be time to concede and pull over. Thankfully on entering the first roundabout she took the first exit and removed herself from our route.

The sense of relief that this short, but potentially dangerous, journey was over, but it is only beginning for someone else. This person is a danger to herself and other road users and there is only one outcome and it is a serious accident. And it will happen, statistics prove it. Be safe on the roads – DON’T TAILGATE – FOR YOUR OWN SAKE…

On a final note, in an accident tailgaters are 100% liable no matter what the circumstances – period.

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Spa GAA lights up – continues each Wednesday night

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative. The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative.

The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held a candle-light vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy, the Offaly school-teacher who was murdered while out for a walk two weeks ago.

“Participants can follow the walking track that offers a safe off-road path and this activity is open to everyone in the community. If anyone would be available to help with registration or stewarding any night, all help is greatly appreciated,” said club PRO Deirdre O’Sullivan-Darcy.

Any volunteers that can help any evening or any questions please contact Margaret Doyle on 0879181970.

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Specialists to examine Killarney trees ahead of future storms

By Sean Moriarty Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district. The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district.

The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. 
One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen tree blocked access to the Moll’s Gap road near Muckross.
Both Cllrs John O’Donoghue and Donal Grady raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.
“In order to mitigate against such events, the Killarney MD Office are in the process of preparing tender documents to procure assessment of specific trees that are in the charge of Kerry County Council.” A council official told the meeting.
“This will allow the MD to make determinations on individual trees in its charge. Individual property owners are responsible for the welfare and maintenance of trees within and along the boundary of their property lines.”

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