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Traffic Commissioner Nick Jones is making no apologies for handing down a harsh punishment against an HGV driver found guilty of falsifying records by using a magnet to alter his electronic tachograph. The man’s lorry licence was revoked and he was banned from driving for 12 months. As the owner and operator of his own independent haulage business, the driver is also effective without income as a result of his error.

In a written decision on the case, Jones made it very clear that falsifying records is a serious offence that will not be taken lightly. He warned drivers, fleet managers, and operators of serious consequences for deliberately falsifying records in order to get around any number of regulations. In the case at hand, the driver used a magnet to extend his driving time beyond the legal limit. He was found to have done so purposely, willfully and with full knowledge of the law.

Jones did say that future cases would be handled on an individual basis, to determine the extent of willful violations. We assume that to mean that drivers, fleet managers, and operators will be punished commensurate with their involvement in any alleged violations. For example, a fleet manager who instructed a driver to exceed his daily hours without informing him a magnet had been placed on the tachograph would bear less responsibility for the violation than the fleet manager would.

In any case, Jones promises to revoke licences of both drivers and operators who willfully disobey regulations. He has made it clear that he intends to leave no doubt that individual livelihoods and businesses could be jeopardised by regulatory violations. If you are an HGV driver, you could lose your lorry licence; if you own a haulage company, you could lose your operators licence.

Take the Regulations Seriously

The Traffic Commissioner has made it very clear that he takes regulations very seriously whether operators and drivers do or not. We encourage our corporate customers and the daily readers of our blog to not take Mr Jones action lightly. He fully intends to enforce regulations to the limits of his authority, even if that means a loss of livelihood for certain members of the transport and haulage industries.

If there is any good news here, it is the fact that regulations have been put in place to make the roads safer for everyone. Perhaps we do not agree that regulation is the best way to improve road safety, but that is the intent nonetheless. It is to the benefit of all operators and drivers to adhere to the regulations as written. Doing otherwise could result in the loss of an operator or lorry licence.

Here at the HGV Training Centre, we are committed to training drivers looking to earn their lorry licence as they embark on a new career as professional drivers. We can train you in a matter of weeks, and then help you find your first driving job through our up-to-date jobs database.


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