Dead man’s tacho card used to flout driving rules
A sole trader who used her dead brother’s tachograph card to drive for longer than she was legally entitled to has had her licence revoked and been disqualified for three years.
Sherralin Ballard originally told the DVSA that her driver card was swapped for John Newland’s, but only because Newland had been the driver and had taken over after she had driven for more than nine hours. However, this story fell apart when the traffic examiner discovered that Newland was Ballard’s brother and had died six months earlier. The card was also found to have been used on two other occasions after Newland had died.
At a Birmingham public inquiry, Ballard admitted to TC Nick Denton that she had used her deceased brother’s card, but it was because she had been accompanied by another driver who had offered to continue driving and had then – unbeknownst to her – used Newland’s card.
In a written decision, Denton said he was unconvinced by this account and noted how substantially her story had changed from the initial DVSA interview. Ballard offered no evidence for the existence of the other driver and the TC found her new story difficult to accept. He said: “Whoever it was, it could not have been Mr Newland, who had died some six months previously.” Ballard’s HGV licence was also revoked for 12 months.
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