First offence leads to suspension

HSE

A scaffolding firm with a host of compliance issues was saved from having its licence revoked after taking remedial action.

Another Level Scaffolding escaped with a two-week suspension at a PI in Cambridge, although TC Richard Turfitt said the Basildon operator’s fitness to operate had been “severely tarnished” by its actions following a DVSA roadside stop in 2018.

It was discovered that the vehicle’s tachograph had not been downloaded since the previous year. Instances of driving without a driver card were also identified.

A follow-up visit took place in August 2019, where a DVSA traffic examiner met with director John Mann and found that downloads were not taking place, no working time records were available, two vehicles were missing ministry plating certificates and two V5 documents had incorrect details. Shortcomings were still identified at a second site visit in November 2019.

The operator said instances of drivers forgetting to insert their cards had been eradicated, although the TC said there was still no effective disciplinary process in place.

However, despite being satisfied that O-licence breaches had occurred, the TC said this was a first PI and Covid-19 restrictions may have prevented some action.
Undertakings were added to the licence.

House crash driver gets six-month ban

Criminal convictions

An HGV driver who crashed into a house in Harlow, narrowly missing sleeping children, has been banned from the roads for six months. 

A police investigation following the incident in the early hours of 17 December last year found that Navarain Singh had flouted drivers’ hours rules and had incorrectly completed tachograph sheets.

The wall the lorry hit was next to where children were sleeping.

Appearing at Southend Magistrates’ Court Singh admitted one count of careless driving and seven counts of failing to use a tachograph recording sheet, and was given nine points on his licence.

He already had three points, so was banned for six months.
 

In addition, he was fined a total of £1,070, told to pay £100 costs and a £37 victim surcharge.

Adam Pipe, head of roads policing, said: “This collision could very easily have ended in tragedy – either to Navarain Singh himself or someone inside the building he hit.

“There are strict regulations which set out how many hours lorry drivers can drive over a set period of time and it is clear from our investigation that Singh had completely ignored these in the fortnight before the collision.

“It’s so important these regulations are adhered to because they’re there to keep people safe. 

“I hope this acts as a reminder to all drivers about the need to stick to the rules of the road.”