Four-year ban for livestock haulier who used another driver's tachograph card

 

An Oban-based livestock haulier working for United Auctions, who used another driver’s digital card on more than 300 occasions, has been disqualified from driving and operating HGVs for four years.

Sole trader Donald MacKay, who traded as D G MacKay, will have his O-licence revoked by Scotland’s traffic commissioner (TC) Joan Aitken on 30 June.

A roadside check last year found that MacKay had created 301 false tachograph records over a sustained period of time.

The examiner found that two driver cards were in use - that of MacKay himself and a card issued to his neighbour, which MacKay claimed he had found on the pavement outside his home.

Asked why he did not return the second card to his neighbour, who was not aware it had been used, MacKay told examiners: “It might get me out of a hole some time.” He claimed he was under pressure to get the work done.

Some 57 drivers’ hours infringements were also detected, including seven occasions where he had driven for more than four-and-a-half hours without a break; 10 occasions where he had exceeded daily driving limits and 26 occasions where he had not taken sufficient daily rest.

MacKay had no systems for checking drivers’ secondary employment or compliance with the Working Time Directive.

At a public inquiry last month, MacKay claimed that his difficulty to manage his workload stemmed from acting as the O-licence holder, driver and transport manager for the business.

The TC said the lack of maintenance issues, “perfect” first-time MOT pass rate and MacKay’s honesty had all been positive factors in his case, but his offending had “severed any trust that may have been”.

Aitken said in her written decision: “It suited him financially and commercially to make these false records and extend his hours.

“I’m also mindful that livestock haulage needs to be particularly safe, for driver misjudgement through fatigue can be catastrophic for the load of animals.”

She said he had been the “author of his own misfortune” and that he should have been unafraid to say no to customers.

“Patently, MacKay wanted to keep the United Auctions work and see off his competitors. Thus he undermined safe and fair haulage."