Two-week suspension for false tacho records

Commercial Motor
January 4, 2013

North West Deputy Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans has given a driver a two week suspension following a court conviction for making false tachograph records.

In a decision following a December public inquiry, the deputy TC banned Colne-based John Sims - owner driver at JCZ Transport - from driving trucks between 22 December and 5 January.

In a prosecution brought by Vosa in March 2012, Sims - who pleaded guilty to all offences - was convicted at North and East Devon Magistrates Court on three counts of knowingly making a false record of his driving duty. He was given a conditional discharge for two years.

Sims had two previous endorsements on his driving licence, one of which was for a mobile phone offence. Records revealed he had also been given a fixed penalty for failing to use a tachograph chart and for taking insufficient daily rest in a 24 hour period.

The deputy TC also ruled that the licence held by Sims and Zoe A Lockett trading as JCZ Transport for one vehicle and one trailer will be revoked with effect from 15 March 2013.

Evans found that the business - which authorises Sims and Zoe Lockett to run one vehicle and one trailer from Long Ing Garage in Barnoldswick - had never in fact operated as a partnership. Sims worked as a sole trader and had therefore traded illegally under the partnership authority.

Evans concluded that Sims had not set out to mislead the Office of the TC about the status of the business but added that because he had traded illegally, the O-licence of the current business had to be revoked. The deputy TC added that Sims was free to apply for a new sole trader O-licence.

However, on the issue of the convictions sustained by Sims, the Deputy TC ruled that his actions had raised significant questions.

Evans said: "This is far from reputable conduct which places a big question mark about how trustable he is.

“That I resolve the question in his favour can only be ascribed to the immediate admission made at the time and since, my belief that the experience has served as a significant lesson for the operator and my belief that he would not allow himself to be put in a position to act with dishonest intent again in the future.”

Sims has made two commitments under the existing licence and to his new application as a sole trader, relating to compliance audits and tachograph analysis.

The deputy TC added that the repute of Sims as an operator remained intact but concluded that as transport manager on the licence, the repute of Sims had been severely tarnished.

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