An operator and transport manager who admitted to creating false maintenance records has been banned from holding an O-licence for seven years.
Traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones said that Barry-based Edwin James, who traded as EJ Transport, had almost a complete lack of control over his transport operation, which was found to be running unsafe vehicles.
He had his O-licence revoked and has been disqualified from acting as a transport manager for an indefinite period.
DVSA examiners told a public inquiry (PI) last month that EJ Transport’s trucks had not been maintained as James had claimed, and James had tried to hide this by forging a maintenance provider’s signature on preventative maintenance inspection (PMI) records.
The alleged maintenance provider confirmed to the examiners that the signatures had been forged and he had not conducted the inspections as claimed by the operator.
Furthermore, PMI records were only available for 12 months, not 15 months as required by law, and mileages did not match up with mileages on driver defect reports.
James admitted to the examiners that he falsified the PMI records and said that this arose because he had difficulty in receiving PMI sheets from the maintenance provider. However, the poor condition over the vehicles suggested that the PMIs had not been conducted at all.
The TC said various other maintenance issues were detailed at the PI, but these “pale into insignificance” when compared with the falsification of records.
Other issues included a lack of monitoring of drivers’ hours compliance; vehicle units and driver cards not being downloaded within the correct timeframe; no evidence of infringements being identified; no evidence of initial driver training; and no procedure for checking driving licences.
The TC said the operator’s failure to act on assurances given in 2013 to improve compliance was an aggravating feature.
Jones said: “Virtually all of the failings identified are down to his lamentable performance as a transport manager. He is also dishonest and has both falsified records and lied to DVSA examiners.”
James also failed to provide any evidence ahead of the PI, which he did not attend, including proof of financial standing.
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