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Coach firm loses licence for drivers’ hours abuses

A “dangerous” coach firm that operated school runs and carried professional sports teams in Hampshire has had its licence revoked by a traffic commissioner.

The firm “put people at serious risk from tired drivers”, Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney ruled and was “rotten to the core” over drivers’ hours rules.

The commissioner’s inquiry in September heard that 27 offences, committed between 2016 and 2018, had been accepted by the company or its drivers. One driver was found to have worked up to seven hours without a qualifying break. On at least two occasions, the coach firm and holiday tour operator instructed drivers to break the law. Vehicle unit data was also not downloaded on time. The law requires that VU data is downloaded at least every 90 days and it makes sense to do it more frequently to deal with any issues such as unaccounted mileage.

In May, the operator was fined £10,000 after admitting four drivers’ hours offences at Southampton Magistrates’ Court. The court also fined 13 drivers who admitted a total of 48 offences. Following this one of the convicted drivers, contacted authorities to inform them of the shortcomings at the firm with drivers.

The firm’s former managing director was banned indefinitely by the commissioner from acting as a transport manager and the operator was disqualified from holding an operator’s licence for 10 years.

Managing drivers’ hours is essential for any operator, employed drivers and the safety of the general public on the road. Smartanalysis tachograph analysis and drivers’ hours reporting is available for 77p per driver per week. With fines and penalties for drivers’ hours offences that can ruin any business can you afford not to?

Source: BBC News

Posted on: 19.10.2018

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