A COUNTY Waterford man has been branded ‘a bit of a daredevil’ this afternoon after deciding to put on his seatbelt after he started to drive his car, stating that he likes the challenge of driving with one hand while reaching for the seatbelt with the other.
Mark Dunphy, who had three young children in the car with him at the time, said he has been doing the spectacular manoeuvre for years, and it has become second nature to him at this late stage of his driving career.
“I don’t even think about it now,” said the chuffed 33-year-old, now parked on a double yellow line outside Tesco with the hazard lights on, a button he likes to call a ‘cloaking device’, “there’s a knack to it; sometimes you have to use your knee to steer the car if you lose it a bit,” adding, “but isn’t that half the fun – that moment of being in danger of being caught by the guards”.
In Ireland, motorists who fail to wear a seatbelt while driving will incur a fixed charge fine of €60 if caught, and if you are convicted in court for non-wearing of a seatbelt, 5 penalty points will be added to your licence and you will be liable for a €2,000 fine for a first offence, a law Dunphy likes to scoff at.
“My intention is to always wear a seatbelt while driving, but just not in the first 30 seconds. I’ve got a daredevil reputation to keep here,” he ended the interview, before leaving his three kids in the car while he entered the shop.