Anger must be fixed to reduce licence suspension

HSE

A traffic commissioner (TC) urged a Slough-based operator to take action to resolve his anger management issues after he ignored police instructions and was then convicted of a racially aggravated offence.

Joshua Oakes, sole director of
J Oakes & Son Skip Hire, appeared before TC Kevin Rooney after he attempted to move his business to a new traffic area and increase authority to three HGVs.

During the course of the application, it became apparent Oakes had been convicted of failing to use a tachograph and obstructing a police officer. While officers made arrangements for the vehicle to be taken away, Oakes drove it back to his operating centre instead.

The police then intervened in another incident during which a car pulled out in front of the director’s lorry, forcing him to stop.

Oakes got out of his vehicle and became aggressive towards the motorist; he was later convicted of a racially aggravated public order offence due to Oakes’ reference to the driver’s Polish origin.

In a third incident, one of the director’s drivers struck a bridge with his vehicle after failing to ensure both arms of the skip lorry were lowered. The driver’s licence entitlements were suspended for four weeks.

In his written decision, TC Rooney said lying to the police about driving without a card on previous occasions went to the heart of the trust that must exist between operators and regulators.

Ending the encounter by driving the vehicle against police instructions made it “a very serious event”.

Referring to the argument with the car driver, the TC said: “What I have is Mr Oakes leaving his cab to have an altercation with another driver. That the two off-duty police officers found the need to intervene suggests that they felt physical violence was close.

“They describe Mr Oakes as ‘very aggressive’ and he is later convicted of two public order offences.”

However, Rooney also said the operator had shown a clear intention to be compliant and so
it was not necessary to put him out of business.

Instead, he granted the new licence, but for two vehicles rather than three. He also suspended Oakes’ vocational entitlement for six months and said this would be reduced to four if he sought professional help for his anger management.