A haulage director who allowed “a truly shocking level of drivers’ hours infringements” to go unpunished at his firm has been disqualified for seven years by West Midlands TC Nick Denton.
In a written decision, Denton said he had also requested that the police and DVSA employ ANPR and other on-road resources to identify and stop vehicles operated by Short Logistics as he had limited faith the company would comply with his decision to revoke the licence.
Two DVSA reports were handed to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, outlining a host of issues at the haulage firm, including a prohibition rate, an inadequate driver defect reporting system, non-use of an operating centre and numerous drivers’ hours offences, including those by the director and transport manager Jaroslav Kratky.
A public inquiry was called, during which financial evidence showed that Short Logistics’ finances fell far below the necessary amount to operate seven HGVs.
Kratky told the TC that his computer had broken and he was therefore unable to analyse the “extraordinarily high levels” of driver infringements. One driver had committed 121 drivers’ hours offences between April 2018 and February 2019.
Kratky told the PI that drivers’ hours records had improved since March, he had bought new software to analyse data, and a suspension of his O-licence would mean the loss of contracts and drivers’ jobs and he would be forced to close down.
However, Denton said: “Kratky had entirely failed to fulfil the requirements for monitoring drivers’ hours. The result has been a free-for-all, with drivers committing numerous and serious infringements completely unchallenged. He has failed to ensure drivers carry out effective checks of their vehicles. He has presided, knowingly, over serious illegalities such as the lack of an operating centre, serious drivers’ hours offences, and a vehicle displaying false plates to disguise the fact it was untaxed and uninsured.”
Revoking the licence and disqualifying Krakty as a director and transport manager for seven years, Denton said: “I am giving less than the usual 28 days before revocation takes effect, as this operator presents a danger to road safety.”
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