Licence cut after ninth regulatory intervention
An operator who was given “so many chances” to improve its compliance has now had its licence authorisation more than halved.
South East deputy traffic commissioner John Baker said most members of the public and other operators would think it “extraordinary” that there had been nine regulatory interventions since Elliott Environmental was granted its licence in 2005.
In October 2019, one of the Dartford firm’s vehicles was checked and found to have a loose wheel nut and an under inflated tyre and so it was issued with an ‘S’ marked prohibition.
A follow-up maintenance investigation by the DVSA was then conducted and the outcome was found to be unsatisfactory.
Two further prohibitions were discovered; one of the company’s vehicles had no PMI records; there appeared to be no effective disciplinary system in place and there were incomplete driver defect reporting records.
At an Eastbourne PI, Elliott Environmental sole director Stuart Hendrick explained that the missing PMI sheets related to a vehicle that had been sold and they had now been forwarded.
He said that his fleet all worked on building and waste disposal sites where the terrain was mainly hardcore or rubble and his drivers were not permitted to inspect their vehicles before going back on to the highway.
Hendrick added that it was a “never ending task” to remind drivers of the need to check their trucks and a lot of his problems came down to complacency on their part.
The DTC said the lack of effective drivers’ walk round checks was resulting in the high number of faults showing up at the maintenance inspections:
“All the negative factors have to be put in the context of this being the ninth regulatory intervention since the licence was granted,” he said.
“I believe to most members of the public and other operators it would appear extraordinary that so many chances for improvement have already been given.
“So many chances have been given and sufficient improvement has not been made.”
DTC Baker found that the operator’s repute had been severely tarnished and he cut the licence authorisation from five vehicles to two.
Acknowledging that Hendrick was also the holder of a sole trader licence, the DTC made a direction that he could not transfer the curtailed vehicles to that licence for six months.
Jail for distracted trucker who killed two
A lorry driver who crashed into a school mini bus after checking Facebook on his mobile phone, has been jailed for killing a boy and his teaching assistant.
James Majury, 33, was sentenced to eight years and 10 months after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and a further five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Preston Crown Court heard how Majury drove his 19-tonne Mercedes HGV into the
back of a school mini bus at around 50mph, resulting in the deaths of 14-year-old Joe Cairns and teaching assistant Anne Kerr, 50.
Judge Robert Altham said: “The reason James Majury didn’t see the obvious minibus and its precious occupants in front of him is because he prioritised checking Facebook over the safety of anyone on the road that day.”
Five others suffered multiple serious injuries in the seven-car collision on the M58 close to junction 3 at Bickerstaffe.
Majury reacted less than a second before the collision, hitting the stationary Vauxhall Vivaro mini bus, containing Cairns and Kerr, who died at the scene on 8 January 2019.
Inspector Claire Pearson from Lancashire Road Policing Unit said: “Joe and Anne’s families can’t bring their loved ones back but what they have asked is that people listen to what has happened here and learn that it is never safe to use a phone whilst you’re driving.”