An Airdrie operator with “the worst case of failure to co-operate” ever seen by a traffic examiner has had its licence revoked and the director disqualified indefinitely.
Sole trader Duncan McKee and transport manager wife Mary McKee did not appear before Scotland’s traffic commissioner Claire Gilmore at an Edinburgh public inquiry after trying to surrender the licence first. However, the TC said that due to the seriousness of the allegations, she decided to proceed in their absence.
She said that detailed evidence provided to her from a traffic examiner (TE) about the operator, which ran four HGVs and eight trailers out of a Glenmavis operating centre, showed that it had few or no systems in place for the management of drivers’ hours or compliance with driving laws.
TC Gilmore said that failure led to significant numbers of driver infringements going unnoticed. In a written decision following the PI, the TC said: “Of grave concern was the operator’s failure to co-operate with DVSA and failure to provide information requested in the course of the investigation. TE Haddow described it as the worst case of failure to co-operate that she had ever seen. In the absence of any explanation to the contrary, I was left with no option but to conclude that such a failure amounted to a deliberate attempt to conceal flagrant and repeated failures to comply with the licence undertakings.”
No evidence of financial standing was produced and the operator’s vehicles had attracted ‘S’ marked prohibitions. Prior to the PI, Mary McKee indicated that they no longer required a licence; the couple now intended to retire and they were unconcerned about the consequences of revocation or disqualification.
But the TC said the clear disregard for the law, coupled with their deliberate failure to co-operate with the DVSA meant disqualification was appropriate: “I have decided, having regard to all of the evidence, that it is justified in Mr McKee’s case to disqualify him from holding an operator’s licence indefinitely,” she said. “I am also of the view that Mr McKee should not act as a director or a partner in any entity which holds an operator licence. Any such involvement will render the licence liable to revocation, suspension or curtailment.” The TC added that Mary McKee should also be disqualified as a transport manager indefinitely.