An HGV driver who deliberately obstructed a DVSA examiner during a roadside check has been disqualified from vocational driving for 30 months.
Traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones said it was “wholly unacceptable” for Kinmel Bay, Rhyl-based Paul Stephens to have misled examiners when the truck he was driving was stopped in December last year.
Stephens was driving for Rhyl-based partnership Andrew Hughes and Elizabeth Carolyn Hughes, which traded as Waste Eaters. The business was hit with a 25-year ban from operating trucks in May after the TC found they engaged in “often criminal” commercial practices, including operating vehicles without insurance, tax, MoT, and tachographs.
A driver conduct hearing in June, which Stephens failed to attend, was told that he sought to distance himself from the company by deliberately withholding his employer’s details; lying about how long he had worked for the business; and claiming he did not know his postcode.
He also refused to answer questions about what duties he had undertaken that morning, and was driving a vehicle without external mirrors; something the TC said he would have been aware of.
Analysis of his tachograph records revealed that he had created false records.
Stephens also failed to attend a conjoined driver conduct hearing and public inquiry in February.
“Paul Stephens has worked for a number of years for a rogue operator,” said the TC in his written decision. “He knew his employer was a rogue and this contributed to his decision to obstruct the DVSA.”
Jones said his refusal to inform the examiner who he worked for was an especially serious issue.
“I regard it as wholly unacceptable for examiners to be misled in this way,” he added.