12-week suspension for truck driver who used phone while driving twice

Ashleigh Wight
September 1, 2017


A truck driver who used a mobile phone behind the wheel on two occasions has been suspended from professional driving for 12 weeks.

Deputy traffic commissioner (TC) for the East of England Marcia Davis warned Martin Burnell, of Tyzack Road, High Wycombe, that his pattern of offending could not continue.

Burnell could offer no explanation for the offences at a driver conduct hearing and said he no longer used a mobile phone while driving.

He said he had a Bluetooth kit when at the time of the second offence, but was temporarily using his handheld device as it had not paired with the Bluetooth kit. He answered the phone to tell the caller he would call them back.

The deputy TC said: “Your livelihood depends on having a licence. Even if it was an emergency you couldn’t deal with it whilst behind the wheel of a vehicle.

“What you should have done was pull over, when it was safe to do so, turn the ignition off and then say ‘I missed the call, how can I help you?’.”

She suspended his HGV driving licence entitlement for 12 weeks – the minimum suspension a TC or deputy TC can for mobile phone offences committed in a commercial vehicle – after taking into account his driving history and lack of other offences.

Advice on how the TCs deal with handheld mobile phone use is available in the senior TC’s statutory documents on driver conduct.




About the Author


Ashleigh Wight

Ashleigh is a former news reporter for Commercial Motor and Motor Transport and currently the editor of OHW+ and HR and wellbeing editor at Personnel Today.

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