Transport manager’s ignorance and incompetence leads to six-month disqualification

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A transport manager has been disqualified for six months after the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner, Nick Denton, said his knowledge of tachograph rules and compliance procedures was “poor in the extreme”.

Paul Garner, who also holds his own licence to operate vehicles, was convicted of seven separate offences of driving for more than 4.5 hours without a qualifying break and fined a total of £5,390 by magistrates.

The Traffic Commissioner said the convictions meant that Garner had lost his good repute as an operator and therefore his licence would be revoked.
Both orders come into effect at 00.01 on February 3, 2017.

Denton also found the operator had failed to satisfy financial standing.

During a public inquiry in Birmingham last month, Garner said he had secured a contract to deliver parcels with Tuffnells in early 2015. As he did not have a transport manager, he could not sub-contract with them directly and so entered into an arrangement with ATP Transport. He provided the drivers to ATP (including himself) while ATP invoiced Tuffnells. They would then pass on the money after making deductions for vehicle hire, cleaning, fuel and for providing their operator’s licence.

The Traffic Commissioner found Garner had made no arrangements either himself or with ATP to download his (or fellow drivers’) tachograph cards until September 2016, or to acquire the necessary company tachograph card until December 2016. A vehicle was operated for more than 10 months in 2012-13 without any of the equipment necessary to download either driver card or vehicle data.

Denton said: “Mr Garner’s knowledge of tachograph rules and of the procedures for ensuring compliance is poor in the extreme and not what I would expect from a reputable transport manager.

“I accept that he entered into wrongful arrangements with ATP more out of ignorance and incompetence than with a deliberate intent to deceive. But his lapses were nevertheless significant and warrant a meaningful period of disqualification from acting as a transport manager.”


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