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operating license for speed limiter tampering

15 Jan 2024

In a recent turn of events, M&M Kerr, a prominent transport company and Scotland’s only haulier of hanging meat, has faced the severe consequence of losing its operating license due to tampering with vehicle speed limiters. The incident has raised concerns about road safety and the integrity of the transportation industry, prompting regulatory authorities to take decisive action.

The issue only came to light when one of its lorries was involved in an accident, and DVSA inspectors found that the speed limiter had been adjusted.

They went on to find the son of the Transport Manager, Craig Kerr, had been driving trucks without a card being inserted or using other drivers’ cards.

Traffic commissioner Claire Gilmore heard how M&M Kerr’s lorries had been travelling for sustained periods in excess of the standard 56mph.

TC Gilmore, in her decision, said: “None of the vehicles were set to go above 60mph and as a result he did not consider it to be a risk to road safety. He accepted that it had affected fair competition, but he felt, given the delays caused by Brexit and Covid, any advantage was minimised.

“He had become completely overwhelmed with everything and regretted what had happened deeply.”

She added: “By law, the operator’s vehicles were required to have a speed limiter fitted and set to 90kph (56mph).

“The evidence is that Mr Kerr’s whole fleet was travelling significantly faster than that over a period of around 15 months.

“The evidence was that he was the only haulier of hanging lambs running out of Scotland, and revocation of his licence was likely to have a considerable impact on the industry,” Gilmore added. “This was also the operator’s first public inquiry.

“However, even giving the maximum weight that I can to all of those matters, I find that they still cannot outweigh the significantly negative findings of dishonesty on Mr Kerr’s part.

“[He] has obtained a substantial commercial advantage over other operators and has compromised road safety by altering his speed limiters.”

She revoked the company’s licence and Kerr was disqualified as a transport manager for 12 months, but she stopped short of disqualifying him as the operator: “That leaves the door open for Mr Kerr or the operator company to apply again in future should he wish to do so,” Gilmore said.

The tampering with speed limiters is a direct violation of established regulations that govern the transportation industry. In the United Kingdom, strict guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of all road users. These regulations mandate that transport companies adhere to specific standards, including the proper functioning and maintenance of speed limiters.

Speed limiters play a crucial role in preventing accidents and promoting responsible driving behaviour. When tampered with, these devices not only compromise the safety of the company’s drivers but also endanger other road users.

The revocation of M&M Kerr’s operating license serves as a stark reminder of the significance of adhering to safety regulations within the transportation industry. Tampering with crucial safety devices, such as speed limiters, not only jeopardizes the well-being of drivers but also poses a significant threat to public safety. The incident highlights the importance of stringent regulatory oversight to maintain the integrity of the transportation sector and ensure the safety of all road users.