Man checking phone stopped 15 feet after white line on Northway

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While checking GPS on his phone a 41-year-old man did not notice a red light and stopped 15 feet after the white line.

Zoltan Tibor Karoly, Avonmere, Craigavon, was fined £150 for using a mobile phone while driving on August 19. A £150 fine was imposed for breach of a traffic sign. He was also given three penalty points.

Craigavon Court heard last Wednesday that a police mobile patrol at Northway saw the defendant approaching the lights. He had a mobile phone in his right hand.

At the red light he dropped the phone and braked but travelled 15 feet across the white line. He said, “I was looking at GPS.”

A defence solicitor explained that he had just found out his brother had been involved in a road accident and had been taken to hospital.

Karoly was in a hurry to get there and in a lapse of judgement he was checking to see which turn he should have been taking.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said he would not ban the defendant but that he had come close to being disqualified.