"Truly shocking level of drivers’ hours infringements" lead to seven year disqualification for haulage director

A haulage director who allowed “a truly shocking level of drivers’ hours infringements” to go unpunished at his firm has been disqualified for seven years by West Midlands TC Nick Denton.

In a written decision, Denton said he had also requested that the police and DVSA employ ANPR and other on-road resources to identify and stop vehicles operated by Short Logistics as he had limited faith the company would comply with his decision to revoke the licence.

Two DVSA reports were handed to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, outlining a host of issues at the haulage firm, including a prohibition rate, an inadequate driver defect reporting system, non-use of an operating centre and numerous drivers’ hours offences, including those by the director and transport manager Jaroslav Kratky.

A public inquiry was called, during which financial evidence showed that Short Logistics’ finances fell far below the necessary amount to operate seven HGVs.

Kratky told the TC that his computer had broken and he was therefore unable to analyse the “extraordinarily high levels” of driver infringements. One driver had committed 121 drivers’ hours offences between April 2018 and February 2019.

Kratky told the PI that drivers’ hours records had improved since March, he had bought new software to analyse data, and a suspension of his O-licence would mean the loss of contracts and drivers’ jobs and he would be forced to close down.

However, Denton said: “Kratky had entirely failed to fulfil the requirements for monitoring drivers’ hours. The result has been a free-for-all, with drivers committing numerous and serious infringements completely unchallenged. He has failed to ensure drivers carry out effective checks of their vehicles. He has presided, knowingly, over serious illegalities such as the lack of an operating centre, serious drivers’ hours offences, and a vehicle displaying false plates to disguise the fact it was untaxed and uninsured.”

Revoking the licence and disqualifying Krakty as a director and transport manager for seven years, Denton said: “I am giving less than the usual 28 days before revocation takes effect, as this operator presents a danger to road safety.”

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Highways England in safety crackdown

Mobile phone

Film footage of an HGV driver making a credit card payment over the phone while driving on the motorway has been released by Highways England. The driver was seen holding his credit card in one hand and his mobile phone in the other as he drove down the M40 near Leamington Spa and was among more than 3,000 dangerous drivers filmed in the last year by officers in unmarked vehicles. He was issued with a £200 on-the-spot fine.

Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, said:“Thousands of drivers use our roads every day and the majority are sensible behind the wheel, but some are putting themselves and others at risk. We introduced the three new HGV supercabs last year to help keep the roads safe and tackle dangerous driving by people who have either got into bad habits or are ignoring the law.”

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