In one of his last cases before stepping down, the former Traffic Commissioner for Wales stripped an operator of its licence and disqualified its director after he was caught driving an HGV without a licence.
A roadside stop
The director was stopped while driving an HGV at a DVSA roadside enforcement stop in November 2018. He was asked to produce tachograph records for the previous 28 days. He produced 15 records, all showing the same last name, but no forename.
After a police check, it emerged he had lied about his identity to the DVSA traffic examiner. He also did not have a vocational licence, so had been driving the HGV illegally.
It later turned out at public inquiry that he had only gained a standard driving licence a short time before he was arrested, despite having driven HGVs for years.
Some months after the DVSA roadside stop, he was convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Analysis of the tachographs provided at the roadside revealed that:
• one record had been incorrectly dated
• the full name of the driver had not been recorded – only the surname, which was shared by various people involved with the operator
• the mode switch was not used correctly to show other work periods such as driver walk round checks (if they were carried out)
• an offence of driving for more than 4.5 hours without a break was recorded
These offences were committed by more than one driver, including the O-licence holder.
The operator was also found to lack financial standing, and it had a poor track record of vehicle maintenance.
The then Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Nick Jones, considered that the director’s knowledge had “always been pitifully poor” and that driving vehicles without any form of full driving licence reflected “a poor understanding of and ability to be compliant with a regulatory regime.”
Mr Jones decided that “an order of two years disqualification is proportionate in this case. Aside from his dishonesty, his lack of skills is such that he is unlikely to ever satisfy a TC as to repute or fitness to hold a licence.”
He was therefore disqualified from holding or applying for an operator’s licence for 24 months and the operator was stripped of its O-licence.