Publishing driver hearing outcomes constitutes “GDPR breach”, claims solicitor


A lawyer has described the office of the traffic commissioner’s (OTC) decision to publish the results of driver conduct hearings as “a serious GDPR breach” that could result in legal action.

Jonathon Backhouse, director at Backhouse Jones, said “sooner or later” a professional driver would sue the OTC for publishing the results of the hearings, as well as the driver’s name, date of birth, postcode and date of the hearing.

The OTC started publishing the decisions in June following a consultation which it said showed “widespread approval”.

At the time it said that the TCs were complying with data protection rules: “Publishing this information will make it easier for operators to find out if a driver has been subject to regulatory action,” it said.

“This will help them to ensure that they do not use drivers who have not declared any action taken by a TC against their vocational entitlement to their employers.

“The traffic commissioners have ensured they comply with data protection principles when publishing this data.”

But Backhouse questioned whether this was lawful: “It sounds to be a serious GDPR breach because they are not supposed to be public hearings,” he said.

“Sooner or later, a driver will probably take them to court over that.”

An OTC spokeswoman said the TCs had considered the law and taken appropriate advice.

CM Show 2020: Anthony Jones heads online to highlight insurance and risk management services

Anthony Jones Insurance Brokers will be on hand at the Commercial Motor Show next month to highlight the specialist range of insurance and risk management services it offers hauliers.

Steve Blackmore, commercial motor director, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the virtual Commercial Motor Show. For us it’s important to be at the heart of the sector in which we serve and to be a part of this show is a natural extension of that belief.

“We’re proud of the expertise and experience we’ve built up over time, more than three decades in fact.

“Our in-depth understanding of the transport and logistics sector stems from the way we work with our customers – we build close working relationships based on open, ongoing dialogue that continues throughout the year, not just at renewal time.”

The business operates its own in-house claims team, which it said makes a fundamental difference to its customers in the event of an incident.

“An accident usually means that a vehicle is off the road for a period of time while repairs are carried out. The longer this takes, the bigger the disruption to the business,” said Blackmore.

“The involvement of our claims specialists can help to speed up the claims process, getting key vehicles back on the road faster and avoiding unnecessary third party costs.”

In the event of a more serious road traffic incident, which can potentally have serious implications for drivers, fleet managers and directors of haulage firms, Anthony Jones has partnered with legal specialist DAC Beachcroft to provide vital advice at a difficult time.

“It’s easy to sell commercial vehicle insurance; it’s much tougher to deliver the level of ongoing support, risk management advice and specialist legal and claims services that we believe sets us apart from the crowd,” added Blackmore.

You can find out more about the range of services on offer at the exciting online Commercial Motor Show, which takes place from 29 September to 1 October.

Free to attend, the event features an exhibition, live networking forums and full seminar programme. Register for your ticket today!