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Operator’s licence suspended after warning not heeded

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An  operator  prosecuted  for  allowing  an  employee  to drive without the initial  driver CPC qualification will be suspended from operating for four days, after appearing before the Traffic Commissioner.

Nick Denton took action after ruling 'Dave Mundy Strip-Out’ had failed to take note of a previous warning about poor record keeping.

The industry regulator heard that the company’s maintenance standards were unsatisfactory, with stretched inspection frequencies, issues with defect reporting and a poor MOT pass rate.

City of London Police also prosecuted the company and an employee for the driver CPC offences in February this year.

The operator was fined £1,000 along with £1,000 for using a HGV with no goods vehicle operator’s licence and £100 for using a HGV with no height indicator.

The driver was fined £400 and £100 for contravening an 18T restriction.

Enforcement officials found that the driver had passed his HGV driving test after 2009 and therefore needed to have the initial driver CPC qualification.

The operator failed to report the offences to the Traffic Commissioner within 28 days of the convictions.

During the hearing, Denton noted that the maintenance issues reported by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) were very similar to those identified during a visit in 2010.

The operator had been given a warning on that occasion and was not called to an inquiry.

The Traffic Commissioner also found that prohibitions had been issued for driver detectable defects and drivers’ hours and tachograph rules had not been strictly complied with.

In addition, no downloads had been performed on the company’s digital vehicle, including from the vehicle unit.

Denton heard the vehicle had been in the company’s possession for two years and that analysis of driver card data had only taken place recently.

Director Dave Mundy told the Traffic Commissioner that he had attended an operator licence management course, along with a manger in the business who was also planning to take the transport manager CPC qualification.

The company’s MOT pass rate was showing improvement and the business had recently implemented regular minuted meetings with drivers.

Making  an  order to suspend the licence from November 22 to November 26, Denton  said that if the operator failed to take the necessary action then any future public inquiry would likely result in a larger suspension or complete revocation of the licence.

He also directed that the operator’s vehicles cannot be used on any other licence during the period of suspension.

Two undertakings were recorded on the licence – to have an independent audit  of  maintenance  and  drivers’  hours systems (by April 30, 2015) and rolling  road  brake tests (four times per year for authorised vehicles, in addition to MOT).

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