Tachograph cheat has O-licence revoked

An owner-operator who undermined fair competition by using magnets to interrupt digital tachograph recordings has had his O-licence revoked and been disqualified for three years.

Aberdeen-based Alexander Jarvis Jamieson, who traded as Sandy Jamieson, has also been banned from driving HGVs for three years.

A public inquiry (PI) in Aberdeen on 29 September was told that the DVSA launched an investigation into whether Jamieson was operating within the drivers’ hours rules in April 2014, following allegations that he had been using a magnet to falsify records while making deliveries for RTH Lubbers UK.

Initial analysis of the data provided to the DVSA by Jamieson highlighted nothing of concern, but when cross-checked with information provided by Lubbers the DVSA found a considerable number of discrepancies.

The DVSA examiner discovered 23 records where he believed Jamieson had interrupted the correct functioning of the tachograph recording equipment, and he came to the conclusion that the allegations of magnet use were correct. He also found the vehicle unit had not been downloaded prior to the DVSA’s request for data.

At the PI, Jamieson admitted to traffic commissioner (TC) Joan Aitken that he had used a magnet as an interrupter device, but not on all 23 occasions. He claimed he did not use it all the time, and would only use the magnet for the last 30-45 minutes if he could not complete a journey in time.

He admitted to using the magnet of his own volition for around three years and said he was not forced to by Lubbers.

In her written decision last month, the TC said Jamieson was able to “underprice safe, compliant, lawful operators and their drivers” by working for Lubbers in the way he had.

“This was not a single, isolated incident of using a magnet, but persistent and habitual transgression,” said Aitken. “A person who uses a magnet is not a person who can be trusted for the future.”

Jamieson also ignored numerous requests to meet up with the DVSA prior to the PI to explain his actions.

“I am in no doubt that he did that because he realised the game was up for him and that the only outcome would be a decision which I am about to take,” said Aitken.

The TC also determined that transport manager Clare Thomson, who is also Jamieson’s partner, was transport manager in name only and had not been carrying out her duties as she should have done. Thomson took Jamieson’s word that he was complying with the law and did not analyse tachograph data.

Aitken found that Thomson had lost her repute and professional competence, and disqualified her from holding a transport manager position indefinitely.

“The transport manager is a qualified person as Ms Thomson was, and is required to have a degree of supervision of those activities to ensure compliance with the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules. Ms Thomson neglected these duties,” said Aitken. The TC’s decision came into effect on 30 October.

  • This article was published in the 19 November issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe today?

Safer Lorry Scheme compliance high in first month

One in 10 HGVs stopped in targeted enforcement swoops in London were in breach of the Safer Lorry Scheme during its first month of operation.

Launched on 1 September, the scheme, formulated by London mayor Boris Johnson, requires the majority of vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with Class V (side close-proximity) and VI (front projection) mirrors and sideguards (construction vehicles have an exemption in law) if entering the capital.

CommercialMotor.com has discovered that of approximately 1,500 HGVs stopped during intelligence checks in September, 148 were found to be flouting the scheme’s rules.

However, this number dropped significantly during the second month of operation, with only 56 non-compliant HGVs recorded despite the same amount of vehicles being checked.

TfL told CommercialMotor.com that the majority of vehicles found to be breaking the rules were not fitted with the required safety mirrors. It also said that every non-compliant vehicle and operator has been reported to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

Steve Burton, director of enforcement and on-street operations at TfL, said: “We are already seeing good results of the Safer Lorry Scheme since it was launched on 1 September. It is one element of our work to improve road safety and protect pedestrians and cyclists.

“We work closely with our policing partners and the industry through the Freight Enforcement Partnership to take non-compliant and unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers and operators off of London’s roads.”