House crash driver gets six-month ban
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.”
Director given time to prove his worth
A company director has been given six months to produce an audit that demonstrates his firm’s full compliance – or its application for 12 lorries will be rejected.
Following a Cambridge public inquiry, Rutland Haulage was issued with interim authority, but the traffic commissioner remained unsatisfied that director Patrick Donaghy was fit for a full operator licence.
Donaghy was formerly director of Rutland Haulage under a standard international licence, but this had been revoked and he was disqualified for two years in 2017.
Donaghy told TC Richard Turfitt that evidence put before the deputy traffic commissioner that time had not been true.
He said tyre checks were undertaken, preventative inspections took place and he never prevented transport managers from doing anything that was required.
Donaghy’s claims meant the TC had to decide which version of events he believed and in a written decision, he said he did not find Donaghy’s evidence credible.
He said the operator had not provided convincing evidence to dispute claims by former transport managers and that “where fault was undeniable, Mr Donaghy attempted to shift the blame away to others.”
He continued: “The reality was that no-one was overseeing the transport operations properly and no tachograph analysis was being undertaken, maintenance inspections were neither timely nor effective and the driver walk around checks were not fully effective.”
However, the TC noted that the applicant was now a member of a recognised trade association, which would undertake tacho analysis.
Infringements would be discussed with drivers and follow-up training or disciplinary action carried out.
In addition, Rutland Haulage now had a contract with an external maintenance provider, with a commitment to rolling road brake tests at every preventative maintenance inspection.
But concerned that Donaghy had overridden the instructions of CPC holders in the past, the TC concluded: “I was persuaded to grant interim authority for no longer than six months. In that time the operator must lodge a copy of that audit. That must confirm full compliance before I will allow substantive grant.”