Safir Shafi was disqualified for two years from holding a PSV O-Licence and from acting as a TM after revocation by DTC Nick Denton
Leicester-based Safir Shafi, trading as Alltravelminibuses, was disqualified for two years from holding a PSV O-Licence and from acting as a Transport Manager after his two-vehicle international licence was revoked by Deputy Traffic Commissioner (DTC) Nick Denton.
A previous restricted licence was revoked in 2017 after a DVSA visit had found minimal maintenance records and driver defect reports, no forward planner, and no evidence of any brake checks. Mr Shafi had also received fixed penalties for tachograph offences.
In April 2021 DVSA carried out a desk-based assessment of the maintenance compliance systems of the current licence. It found no evidence of meaningful brake testing; no evidence of wheel removal procedure or torque register; no evidence of a vehicle off-road (VOR) recording system; and some preventative maintenance inspection (PMI) sheets were not signed off as roadworthy. Mr Shafi offered various assurances of better performance, and no further action was taken. Among his assurances were that, in future, he would keep a register of wheel changes.
On 1 June 2022, one of his vehicles lost both wheels from the nearside rear axle while in passenger service and it was issued with an S-marked prohibition. When presented at an MoT testing station to clear the prohibition, the vehicle failed for having wheels of a different size to each other, and for an electrical fault.
A subsequent DVSA visit found that the PMI records did not have a section to record brake temperature readings; neither were they recording tyre tread depths or pressures; the PMI records were not signing off the vehicle as roadworthy; the stated six-week interval between PMIs was not being respected; and the maintenance provider was only being used to identify defects, not repair them. There was no evidence of remedial work being carried out. There was no VOR system in place. Mr Shafi did not understand the obligation to report incidents affecting safety to DVSA. Driver defect reporting was ineffective.
A vehicle was issued with an immediate prohibition when presented for MoT for, among other things, a tyre over 10 years old, a dangerous defect with the parking brake, and excessive emissions.
Prior to the inquiry, DVSA Traffic Examiner Anita Barwell assessed compliance with drivers’ hours and tachograph requirements. She noted that vehicle unit downloads had exceeded the maximum 90- day interval permitted. Driver card downloads had exceeded the maximum 28-day interval permitted. Recent downloads had only been carried out following her request for data. Because regular downloads were not being done, driver card and
tachograph data was not being analysed by Mr Shafi.
Making the revocation and disqualification orders, the DTC said that shortcomings in compliance were identified by DVSA’s desk-based assessment as early as April 2021, but were simply not acted upon by the operator. The absence of a wheel torque register was commented upon in April 2021, as was the absence of a VOR record. Although Mr Shafi replied that he would address these issues, he did not. A vehicle lost two wheels a year later. Almost another year after that wheel loss incident, he still did not have a torque register and was using a spanner, rather than a calibrated torque wrench, to tighten wheel nuts. Astonishingly, proper VOR records were still not kept.
Despite having had his previous licence revoked in 2017 for failure to keep proper tachograph records, Mr Shafi was still failing to conduct downloads at the required intervals and had not been analysing data.