Suspended jail sentence for tacho offences

Chris Tindall
March 18, 2020

An HGV driver has been given a suspended prison sentence for drivers’ hours offences after driving for up to 21 hours a day.

Newark-based sole trader Neil Drury was told he had put other road users at risk after being given an eight-month suspended sentence at Leeds Crown Court on 5 March.

According to the DVSA, Drury, 48, owned and drove for Neil Drury Transport and he pleaded guilty to 12 counts of falsifying tachograph records dating from April to September 2018.

DVSA officers pulled his lorry over at the roadside in October 2018 and found that he had been using another driver’s tachograph card on 12 occasions to hide 28 separate drivers’ hours offences.

Further investigations found that Drury had been driving for 21 hours in one day, greatly exceeding the nine to 10 hours a day limit for HGV drivers, as set out by the regulations.

Most of the other driving offences ranged from around 11 to 17 driving hours a day.

In mitigation, the sole trader claimed that he needed to get home because of various personal issues and he did not want to park up because of the risk of diesel theft and criminal damage to his vehicle.

However, Judge Khokhar discounted this, telling the court: “If that’s the case then everyone would be doing it.”

As well as the prosecution, Drury appeared before a traffic commissioner public inquiry in Leeds on 9 August 2019 and his operator’s licence was revoked with immediate effect.

He had held a standard national O-licence authorising three lorries and three trailers, with an operating centre in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

Laura Great-Rex, DVSA head of enforcement delivery, said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. 

“Drury flouted the drivers’ hours rules, which monitor the driving times of professional drivers to prevent fatigue, guarantee fair competition and protect road safety.

“We hope this case sends a clear message to other lorry drivers that we will prosecute those found breaking the rules.”

Drury was also been ordered to pay £1,625 to the DVSA for costs towards the investigation and prosecution.

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and quickly realised there was enough going on to keep him busy for a very long time. He’s covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning, Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of safe and secure lorry parks and he helped secure the release of a lorry driver in a Polish jail due to misuse of the European Arrest Warrant.

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