North West traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans (pictured) has warned that HGV drivers and operators caught using magnets to manipulate their tachographs will face severe disciplinary action.
His warning came after he disqualified Sebastian Blizniak, the director of Heysham, Lancashire-based SB Trans, for two years after he admitted using a magnet to conceal a daily rest offence.
The TC revoked the company’s O-licence and Blizniak was disqualified from driving HGVs for 12 months. The sanctions will take effect at 11.59pm on 23 June.
Blizniak admitted that he had bought the magnet for the express purpose of creating false records.
Analysis by DVSA examiners found that he had used the magnet on 15 November to continue driving when the tachograph was recording a daily rest. Data obtained from the truck’s engine management system showed that it was moving during this time.
Blizniak was subsequently fined more than £1,000 for knowingly making a false record; taking insufficient rest within a 24-hour period; and exceeding the 10-hour daily driving limit.
Evans, who began in his post as North West TC on 1 June, described Blizniak's conduct as “patently unacceptable”.
He said: “The use of the magnet to conceal conduct undermines the rules designed to prevent driver fatigue, promote road safety and ensure fair competition in the industry.
“It is the case that the industry would be scandalised, if in the circumstances outlined, an operator were able to retain repute in such a case”.