The director of a waste disposal company has been suspended from driving professionally after he failed to stop for enforcement checks by DVSA.
David Barker’s vocational licence was suspended by Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton from following a driver conduct hearing last month.
Barker, who runs Sevenoaks based BSP (Knockholt), was directed to stop by DVSA enforcement officers whilst driving a vehicle on July 7, 2015, on the A282 Dartford Approach, heading clockwise.
Two attempts to direct the vehicle off the A282 into a DVSA check site were made by the enforcement officers but the driver did not respond.
In a subsequent interview, Barker told a DVSA examiner that, in his view, it was not safe to pull over into the inside lane and follow the stopping vehicle, due to traffic behind his vehicle.
At the conduct hearing, the Traffic Commissioner examined footage from cameras on board the DVSA stopping vehicle. This revealed there were no vehicles in the inside lane as the enforcement officers directed Barker to follow them. The nearest vehicle in the second lane was at least 100 yards behind when they made attempts to stop him.
The DVSA officers had decided to stop the vehicle because they were concerned about whether the vehicle’s load of four stacked skips had been secured properly.
Barker told the Traffic Commissioner the skips were spot welded together and therefore did not constitute an insecure load.
A DVSA examiner also reported that Barker had not been using a tachograph card at the time of the incident, stating that it was faulty. However, he failed to take a print out from the tachograph unit and make a manual entry on the back before starting to drive, which is the required procedure if the tachograph is faulty.
Ordering an eight week suspension of Barker’s vocational driving licence, the Traffic Commissioner said he did not accept the explanation given by him for his failure to stop.
He also made an order to suspend the 18 vehicle operator’s licence held by BSP (Knockholt) for 14 days from December 3.
Denton concluded: “Mr Barker had sufficient time and opportunity to comply with DVSA’s instructions. His failure, without a reasonable excuse, to comply – at a time when he was breaking the rules relating to the use of tachograph cards – does not reflect well on his own or the company’s fitness to hold a licence.
“DVSA enforcement officers had legitimate concerns about the safety of the vehicle’s load and made attempts to stop the vehicle for road safety reasons.
“As a professional driver, Mr Barker should have followed the vehicle to the check site. Instead, he made a decision to evade enquiries into his vehicle and driving compliance. That an examiner subsequently discovered an offence only adds further justification to DVSA’s decision to stop his vehicle.
“Professional drivers and operator licence holders have a duty to comply with enforcement agencies in the interests of road safety and fair competition.
“As this case shows, traffic commissioners will not tolerate any attempts to avoid enforcement activity or conceal non-compliance from those agencies.”