No excuse for concealing excessive driving hours

Posted by AndrewT on 1st Dec 2016

The Traffic Commissioners Office has called on operators and transport managers to be extra vigilant over drivers using more than one card to hide excessive drivers’ hours. The London and South East TC Nick Denton, warned professional drivers that they face significant action against their vocational licences if they use more than one driver card. Mr Denton’s comments come after hearings in October where a number of drivers were reported for using two driver cards to conceal excessive drivers’ hours. In one case the regulator described it as ‘truly frightening’. Three drivers were disqualified from professional driving for 12 months and a further two drivers received six-month disqualifications. The Traffic Commissioner also suspended the vocational licences of two other drivers for failing to attend the hearings.  One driver was also the director and transport manager and had his company’s operator licence revoked and disqualified from holding a licence and from being a transport manager for five years. In one case a driver used two cards to make 17 false records in two months, driving double shifts and only taking daily rest of between four and six hours – well short of the minimum nine hours rest required. Another driver used two cards to make 13 false records and on one occasion taking only 17 minutes rest between an 11.5-hour night shift and starting a day shift that was to last for a further nine hours. Mr Denton said ‘Falsifying the record by using two cards is a serious offence. Such conduct undermines the entire point of the rules on tachographs and drivers’ hours, which is to enable employers and enforcement authorities to have a true record of a person’s driving, other work and rest periods, so that it can be established that drivers have not worked excessive hours and driven while tired. If drivers flout the rules by driving excessive hours, road safety can be severely jeopardized.” Drivers seeking to abuse the regulations reported their drivers’ card as lost or stolen to get a replacement from DVLA. With two cards it’s possible to drive a day shift for one operator and the other to drive a night shift for another operator. Transport managers may face difficulties in identifying drivers using multiple cards and should check the digital tachograph drivers card they are using. Each one will have an index number. The last two digits of the index number change if the driver is issued with a new card. There may be legitimate reasons when a card has been replaced but transport managers should look out for driver using cards with different index numbers. Transport operators using Descartes Smartanalysis can take advantage of the fact that the driver card number is captured whenever the drivers' data is downloaded to Smartanalysis.  The report DTCO Driver Card Details available on Smartanalysis will then provide all the details of drivers and card numbers making it easier to spot any issues. To find out more about Smartanalysis click here. Source: Agg Net