Police shocked by HGV driver risks

A truck driver steering with his knees while using a mobile phone and another who removed his t-shirt while driving were examples found by the police during an operation targeting HGVs. Operation Tramline saw Lincolnshire police officers, supported by the DVSA, out in an unmarked lorry on the A1 in Grantham.

Inspector Ewan Gell from the force’s specialist operations unit, said the operation uncovered dangerous offences, including a tired driver that was weaving all over the carriageway and went onto the verge a couple of times before he was stopped. “We are always disappointed when people take risks with their lives and other people’s lives and it is particularly shocking when those drivers are in charge of a large goods vehicle which has the potential to do such huge damage,” he said.

“Some of these people also risk their jobs by carrying out these offences. Whilst it is pleasing to see that we were able to take positive action against these drivers who flouted the law, it is disappointing that they took the risk in committing the offence in the first place.”

Of the 49 offences discovered, nine verbal warnings were given, and 33 traffic offence reports were issued. In addition, two graduated penalties were given out for weight and driving hours. One prohibition to prevent the vehicle moving was also issued.

 

Attempt to conceal past catches up with director

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A director with a string of failed companies to his name has been refused his latest licence application after the traffic commissioner found he had attempted to conceal his past.

Sole director Mark Pickering had applied for a restricted licence for five HGVs in the name of Venture Pressings in Kings Norton, but he made no mention of his previous businesses. These included Talco Tool Storage, which entered liquidation in 2008; Talco Banding & Seals, which had its licence revoked in 2010 and Venture Maintenance Services, which continued to operate vehicles after it entered liquidation in 2012. On his latest application form, Pickering stated he had never had a licence revoked and had never attended a PI.

TC Nicholas Denton refused an interim licence and called the operator to a PI in Birmingham. The day before it was scheduled to take place, Pickering emailed the TC’s office to say he would not be appearing at the PI, but “in view of the extreme lateness” of the communication, TC Denton decided to continue with the inquiry.

In a written decision, he said Pickering was not a fit person to hold an operator’s licence: “He was explicitly warned at the public inquiry in March 2014 for having operated goods vehicles after the entity holding the licence had entered liquidation,” he said.

“Despite that warning, he has done exactly the same again, with Venture Pressings Ltd operating vehicles under the guise of the licence issued to Venture Steels Ltd after the latter company had entered liquidation.”