On Monday 17th December 2012, Richard Samuel Dewart, 44, owner of Dewart Transport, Waringstown, Northern Ireland was convicted of forgery and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for 3 years, at Craigavon Crown Court.
This followed a joint enforcement operation from the Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI) and Driver & Vehicle Agency. An examination of vehicles owned by Dewart Transport resulted in a number being seized on the grounds that devices had been installed that had the capability of disabling the HGV tachograph and the speed limiter. Tachograph records and various documents were also seized in the operation.
Th eexamination revealed instances where driver rest periods had been recorded by the tachograph but other evidence showed that the vehicle was still moving. It was proven that a device had been activated to enable the driver to continue driving by simulating that the vehicle was stationary. This created false tachograph records and masked drivers’ hours infringements.
The RHA have welcomed the sentence. RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning said “We have been campaigning hard to see this issue addressed for a number of reasons. Not only does it bring the reputation of the industry and its workforce into disrepute, it places the driver of the vehicle and other roads users, including pedestrians, at risk”.
“Falsifying driving records is planned in advance and is one of the most serious offences in road haulage,” Geoff Dunning continued. ”Drivers and their employers do it because they can carry on driving for far longer than permitted under EU safety rules, which are designed to protect themselves and others. Not only are they are putting lives at risk, they are undermining the livelihoods of drivers who comply with the law. For that reason, the Road Haulage Association considers that the only effective deterrent for such an office is a custodial sentence.”
Posted on: 19.12.2012