A haulage boss who employed a disqualified driver who went on to kill a pedestrian while behind the wheel, has now been thrown out of the industry.
Deputy traffic commissioner Simon Evans said it was wholly proportionate for both Hetton Transport and director James Warren to be excluded for three years.
Transport manager Beverley Warren – the director’s mother – was also disqualified indefinitely following a Leeds public inquiry.
The Batley-based company, which held a licence authorising seven vehicles and three trailers, was called to a PI due to significant breaches of conditions attached to its licence and of the law.
Hetton Transport had failed to notify changes in maintenance arrangements, had racked up prohibitions and fixed penalties and had breached undertakings related to fitness and serviceability of vehicles, drivers’ hours compliance and record keeping.
West Yorkshire police had also become involved, because one of Hetton Transport’s drivers, Adam Badkin, had been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving whilst disqualified.
The police said Warren had not been prepared to assist with its inquiries because he did not wish to implicate himself in any investigation.
In his written decision, DTC Evans said: “The police officer drew an inference from the refusal to supply basic information sought by the police that the company had either employed driver Badkin knowing he was a disqualified driver, or had not carried out the requisite legal checks.”
A traffic examiner investigation also concluded that driving licence checks had not been carried out and that if it had done so, “they would have identified Badkin as a disqualified driver.”
It was also noted that the transport manager never responded to the DVSA’s inquiries and neither her nor the operator attended the PI.
The DTC said: “The statements and reports of DVSA officers raise substantial issues of concern about compliance, which I have been deprived of the opportunity to examine at a hearing.
“The operator and its director have done very little that gives me any confidence all that I can have the necessary trust and confidence in it, as a licence holder.
“Of equal, if not even greater concern is that the transport manager in this case has also chosen not to engage with her regulator.
“Serious allegations are made going directly to her good repute, but she has not sought to stand up and address them.”