Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Road Haulage Freight Truckers are Warned Not to Tailgate or Face Losing Licences

Bans Handed Out to Both HGV Drivers and Offending Transport Manager
Shipping News Feature
UK – The Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Nick Jones, has warned road haulage operators that HGV drivers will face strong action if they are caught tailgating in any circumstances. After adding an extra month to the professional driving bans to two truck drivers who have been found guilty of the offence, Mr. Jones said that professional drivers across the industry should know that engaging in this kind of behaviour, particularly in a commercial vehicle, is a serious offence.

During a driver conduct hearing in Cardiff on 2 August, Alan Reynolds, 58, and Robert Lloyd, 55, both admitted tailgating. They were seen tailgating cars on 13 September 2016, while driving HGVs on behalf of N R Parsons Transport Ltd, based in Bridgend and Presteigne. The incident was witnessed by a traffic examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), as the vehicles travelled from Hereford to Letton. Mr Jones remarked:

“Tailgating is potentially dangerous in any circumstances, but tailgating in an HGV is especially serious and if brought to the attention of a Traffic Commissioner, strong albeit proportionate action will be taken.”

Chief Executive of the DVSA, Gareth Llewellyn, agreed with the punishment, saying:

“DVSA’s first priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. There’s no excuse for driving while tired or driving dangerously. I am very supportive of the action taken by the Traffic Commissioner in this case and the advice he has provided to the industry.”

The agency also reported Mr Reynolds and Mr Lloyd for committing offences relating to the records professional drivers are supposed to keep around their driving and working hours.

Following a DVSA investigation, Mr Reynolds was prosecuted for 15 offences of knowingly making a false record and was given a six month sentence, suspended for 12 months, by Worcester Crown Court. He is required to undertake 160 hours of unpaid community service and pay costs and a court surcharge totalling £1790.

After the conduct hearing, the Traffic Commissioner revoked the professional driving licence held by Mr Reynolds and disqualified him from holding or applying for a vocational licence until March 2019.

Mr Lloyd was convicted of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the making of a false record and fined by Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court. The Traffic Commissioner also revoked his professional driving licence and disqualified him from holding or applying for a vocational licence until September 2018.

A third driver, David Clarke, 29, was convicted and fined for a number drivers’ hours offences, including knowingly making a false record and using another driver’s card to record his work. Mr Clarke’s professional driving licence was revoked by the Traffic Commissioner. He is disqualified from holding or applying for a vocational licence until May 2018.

The Traffic Commissioner also took action against N R Parsons Transport Ltd, the employer of all three drivers, after calling the firm to a public inquiry on the same day as the driver hearings. He made an order to reduce the firm’s fleet from 16 vehicles and 16 trailers to 12 vehicles and 12 trailers for the months of September, October and November 2017.

He also disqualified the company’s transport manager, Neil Parsons, and said he could not hold that position again until he requalifies by passing fresh examinations.