A truck driver has been fined £2,000 after he created false tachograph records to hide evidence of driving for 28 hours without taking a proper break.
Vilnis Ekups, driver for Donegal-based Gerry Quinn International Transport, was taken off the road by DVSA officers in Ewloe, North Wales earlier this month.
In the seven days before he was stopped, he had driven for two separate stretches of 16 and 28 hours without taking suitable breaks. He created false tachograph records in an attempt to hide this.
A number of mechanical defects were discovered on the truck including a fractured brake disc, inoperative front indicators and a fault on the anti-lock braking system. Some of the mechanical defects had not been fixed since the last time the truck was stopped.
DVSA examiners immobilised the truck until the driver took the required rest breaks and fixed the defects. He was also reported to Ireland’s enforcement agency, the Road Safety Authority.
Martin Garlick, vehicle enforcement manager for Wales, said: “The DVSA’s first priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. There’s no excuse for driving tired or with a vehicle in such poor condition.
“We know tired drivers can injure or kill other road users and themselves. In a large, heavy vehicle the results can be devastating.”
North West traffic commissioner Simon Evans recently warned that truck drivers who create false tachograph records will face strict disciplinary action.