The Traffic Commissioner for Wales has warned HGV drivers will face strong action if they are caught tailgating – in any circumstances.
Nick Jones says professional drivers across the industry should know that engaging in this kind of behaviour, particularly in a commercial vehicle, is serious.
The warning comes after he added an extra month to the professional driving bans of two HGV drivers who were reported for tailgating.
Alan Reynolds, 58, of Bridge Street, Kington, and Robert Lloyd, 55, of Hatton Gardens, Kington, both admitted tailgating during a driver conduct hearing in Cardiff on August 2.
They were seen tailgating cars on September 13, 2016, while driving HGVs on behalf of N R Parsons Transport, based in Bridgend and Prestiegne.
The incident was witnessed by a traffic examiner from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), as the vehicles travelled from Hereford to Letton.
Jones said: “Tailgating is potentially dangerous in any circumstances, but tailgating in an HGV is especially serious and if brought to the attention of a Traffic Commissioner, strong albeit proportionate action will be taken.”
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “DVSA’s first priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. There’s no excuse for driving while tired or driving dangerously.
“I am very supportive of the action taken by the Traffic Commissioner in this case and the advice he has provided to the industry.”
The agency also reported Reynolds and Lloyd for committing offences relating to the records professional drivers are supposed to keep around their driving and working hours.
Following a DVSA investigation, Reynolds was prosecuted for 15 offences of knowingly making a false record and was given a six month sentence, suspended for 12 months, by Worcester Crown Court. He is required to undertake 160 hours of unpaid community service and pay costs and a court surcharge totalling £1790.
After the conduct hearing, the Traffic Commissioner revoked the professional driving licence held by Reynolds and disqualified him from holding or applying for a vocational licence until March 1, 2019.
Lloyd was convicted of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the making of a false record and fined by Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court.
The Traffic Commissioner also revoked his professional driving licence and disqualified him from holding or applying for a vocational licence until September 1, 2018.
A third driver, David Clarke, 29, of Lowfield Meadow, Kingstone, was convicted and fined for a number drivers’ hours offences, including knowingly making a false record and using another driver’s card to record his work.
Clarke’s professional driving licence was revoked by the Traffic Commissioner. He is disqualified from holding or applying for a vocational licence until May 1, 2018.
The Traffic Commissioner also took action against N R Parsons Transport, the employer of all three drivers, after calling the firm to a public inquiry on the same day as the driver hearings.
He made an order to reduce the firm’s fleet from 16 vehicles and 16 trailers to 12 vehicles and 12 trailers for the months of September, October and November 2017.
He also disqualified the company’s transport manager, Neil Parsons, and said he could not hold that position again until he requalifies by passing fresh examinations.