VOSA’s fixed penalty system covers many of the drivers’ hours and record keeping offences to which road hauliers can fall foul.
However, we are increasingly picking up summonses served on clients for false tachograph records, which is clearly a very serious matter.
It is not difficult to see why this might be the case either. Hauliers have probably never had it so bad, with rizla-thin margins, barrel bottom rates and increasingly tough competition from abroad.
The temptation to avoid revealing just how far and how long your drivers are on the road may be too much for those desperate enough to risk prosecution.
This could well have been the case for Boyle Transport boss Patrick Boyle.
At Carlisle Crown Court last week the managing director of one of Northern Ireland’s largest haulage firms admitted getting 15 of his drivers to falsify their tachograph records.
His son Mark, also a director, pleaded guilty to the conspiracy as well. They will both be sentenced in April, as will the 15 drivers.
In another case last year the boss of Scottish haulier Cameron Young Transport, Cameron Young, was disqualified indefinitely after his firm was found to have wound back tacho clocks, pulled fuses and used ‘ghost drivers’ to falsify records.
The Scottish deputy Traffic Commissioner said that in 14 years of being a DTC he could not recall a case as bad as this one.
Times are hard and only the most energetic, innovative and stubborn hauliers will survive. Temptation or not there is never any room for flouting the law.
For further information contact Anton Balkitis or Lucy Wood on 0800 046 3066 or visit the website if you are looking for motoring solicitors.