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In one of the more comprehensive cases of its kind, the Crown Court in Carlisle sentenced a group of drivers and managers to prison terms and licence suspensions for falsifying records in a case that lasted more than three years. According to HGV UK, the 17 individuals were issued varying sentences based on their involvement in the illegal activity. Two of the individuals pleaded not guilty but were, nevertheless, convicted by the court in November.

The three-year investigation of the case involved a joint effort between the Cumbria police and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). It was initiated after an intelligence package was raised by the VOSA in regard to the business operations of two Glasgow-based companies owned by William and Laura Ross. Apparently, the couple has had previous run-ins with the law through the years.

The investigation into the companies revealed a systematic pattern of falsifying records in order to maintain a competitive advantage of other companies operating in the same sector. When officials seized digital tachograph records, their analysis showed at least 182 instances of verified record falsification.

The sentencing phase of the litigation involved a variety of prison sentences, licence suspensions, and driving and operational bans. In all likelihood, it means the end of the two companies in question, Roth International and Roth International Haulage Ltd.

A Different Kind of Fleet Training

It is truly disappointing to learn the two businesses owned by the Rosses engaged in a different kind of fleet training; training that encouraged the drivers to break the law by falsifying records. It’s one thing when company owners decide to skirt regulations on their own; it is an entirely different matter when they enlist workers to help them do so. It is not clear if the drivers in this case were forced to falsify records or simply encouraged to do so.

We sincerely hope that all of the drivers have learned their lesson. We hope that, when their restrictions are lifted, they are ready to go back to work with a mind to always obey the law. The only fleet training they should be relying on is that training that keeps them safe and within legal compliance.

If you are a company owner or manager with fleet training needs, you’ll be happy to know that the HGV Training Centre includes legal compliance and regulatory knowledge within the scope of our training programmes. It is our goal that every driver graduating from one of our training programmes has a thorough knowledge and understanding of what is required of him or her by law.

As far as the drivers themselves are concerned, each one is responsible for making sure he or she always does the right thing. We encourage company owners and managers not to tolerate those individuals who, of their own accord, decide to violate the law. Any violation, including falsification of records, could land your company in trouble you don’t need. Make sure your drivers know what is expected of them and that they adhere to it.


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