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Disqualified for five years for drivers’ hours offences

A South Wales operator was disqualified by Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Nick Jones, for five years after committing over 100 driver’ hours offences.  The owner operator used two driver cards to conceal drivers’ hours and neglected to keep his vehicles in a roadworthy state. The owner also operated as a driver for the company. An investigation was instigated following safety failures that the Traffic Commissioner said a competent driver should have identified and found that maintenance standards were poor and the inspections were not carried out as required.

Drivers’ hours information was not made available to the DVSA. However, the tachograph data that was downloaded from the vehicle by the authorities showed the regular use of two cards. In a three-month period 105 drivers’ hours offences were committed and that included 47 cases of creating false tachograph records. The owner / driver admitted to working 70-hour weeks, breaching drivers’ hours law and Working Time Regulations.

In addition to the Operator Licence disqualification the owner / driver had his vocational driving licence revoked and was disqualified from applying for a new HGV licence for four years. He also received a £7,000 fine for the drivers’ hours offences.

The Traffic Commissioner said in his written decision “It is not a case of negligence; he has opted to put commercial advantage before safety of his vehicles and the safety of other road users who are jeopardised by his working excessive hours.” and said he had no sympathy for an operator, transport manager or driver who “deliberately and systematically cheats and creates false records with a view to obtaining financial advantage while putting other road users at significant risk”. 

For help and advice in managing compliance with drivers’ hours and Working Time regulations see Smartanalysis.

Source: Commercial Motor

Posted on: 05.07.2016

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