The former transport manager of Lancashire-based Robinson Transport has lost his repute and been disqualified from acting as a transport manager for two years.
The decision by North West traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans follows a public inquiry (PI) in September after AdBlue emulators were found fitted to some of the vehicles. Jarod Jeffrey Smith held the role of transport manager at Robinson Transport from its inception in 2007 until he resigned in September that year.
An earlier PI in June into the company itself issued a formal warning and curtailed the licence from 15 to 13 vehicles for 10 days. The recent PI heard that throughout 2015 the fitting of AdBlue emulators was not seen as illegitimate but this changed following a DfT inquiry into their use.
Smith told the PI that eight or nine of the DAFs run by Robinson’s had emulators fitted from 2015 onwards. He explained the devices were often fitted for about £500 to avoid expensive repairs estimated to cost between £3,000 and £5,000.
Evans wrote in his written judgement: “Smith accepted that these admitted matters bring into a sharp focus his repute as transport manager. He entirely accepted that he was complicit in the decision to use vehicles with AdBlue emulators fitted.
"He agreed that it was wrong and reckoned to have learnt from the experience. He asked that I set the circumstances in the context of the operator’s otherwise positive compliance record with which he associated his efforts. Further that he had, albeit belatedly, resigned from his position.”
Evans concluded that Smith needed a period of disqualification “before it can be said he might have regained the repute he has lost”.