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MiniPlus Article
December 05 2018
By Mike Jewell

Mike Jewell is the industry’s leading legal journalist, covering all key cases brought before Public Inquries, Tribunals, Magistrates and Crown Courts

Breaches to tachograph and
drivers’ hours causes revocation

Continuing drivers’ hours and tachograph offences and their current failure to meet the main occupation rule has led to one-vehicle restricted licence held by Derek and Linda Prescott, trading as Clee Hill Garage, being revoked by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Nick Denton. In addition, the TC suspended the vocational PSV driving entitlement of Mr Prescott for 20 weeks.

The Ludlow-based partners had been called before the TC at a Birmingham Public Inquiry.

The DTC said that the main issue was that Mr Prescott was stopped on 16 March 2017 at Cheltenham Racecourse when he did not have a driver digital tachograph card. He was subsequently fined for seven specimen offences, namely five offences of failing to use a tachograph and two offences of insufficient daily rest.

Mr Prescott said that he had thought that as the racecourse was just over an hour away he did not need to use a tachograph, but he was wrong.

Asked about the undertaking to comply with the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules when the licence was granted, he said he must have signed it, but it was 19 years ago. 

Since he had been pulled up he had read up about it online and acquired equipment to download his driver card, which he did once a month. He did not have any infringements reports as the data was left in the computer. He had only brought daily printouts, which he had thought was sufficient.

The TC pointed out that it was unnecessary to do daily printouts and in fact they shouldn’t be done. He noted that the printout for 16 August showed a daily rest offence. Mr Prescott had broken the law for the same thing he had been fined for 18 months previously.

In reply to the TC, Mr Prescott said that he did not have any driver defect reports as he repaired any defects he found and noted them on the monthly inspection reports. 

After he had said he put the tachograph mode switch on other work when doing daily walk-round checks, the TC commented that the printouts did not show that, as they went straight from the bed to drive.

After the TC noted that the maintenance records produced were all very clean and in the same pen, Mr Prescott maintained that they were genuine.

Questioned further, Mr Prescott said that his main occupation had been the garage, but he was virtually retired now, and he just did the bus work with the minibus. 

He had closed the garage down. He was unaware of the criteria for holding a restricted licence. He was unable to satisfactorily answer questions about the drivers’ hours rules.

In his decision, the TC said that Mr Prescott had driven on numerous occasions without a tachograph card before being stopped in March 2017. 

More than 18 months after that he was still not complying with the drivers’ hours rules. He had not taken the sustained and urgent action after he was stopped to put matters right.

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