Suspended sentence for drivers’ hours offences

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A truck driver has received an eight-month suspended sentence and 200 hours of unpaid work for driving up to 21 hours a day.

Neil Drury, 48 of Thompson Close, Coddington, owned and drove for Neil Drury Transport and pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court last week to 12 counts of falsifying tachograph records dating from April to September 2018.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) pulled Drury’s lorry over in October 2018 and found that he had been using another driver’s tachograph card on 12 occasions to hide 28 separate drivers’ hours offences.

Investigators found that he had been driving for 21 hours in one day, which greatly exceeded the nine to 10 hours a day limit for HGV drivers as set out by the regulations.

Most of the other offences ranged from around 11 to 17 driving hours a day.

In mitigation, Drury stated that he needed to get home because of various personal issues and did not want to park up because of the risk of diesel theft and criminal damage to his vehicle.

Judge Khokhar discounted this, stating: “If that’s the case then everyone would be doing it.”

On August 9, 2019, Drury appeared before a Traffic Commissioner public inquiry in Leeds where his operator licence was revoked with immediate effect.

DVSA’s Head of Enforcement Delivery Laura Great-Rex said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. 

“Drury flouted the drivers’ hours rules which monitor the driving times of professional drivers to prevent fatigue, guarantee fair competition and protect road safety.

“We hope this case sends a clear message to other lorry drivers that we will prosecute those found breaking the rules.”

Drury was also ordered to pay £1,625 to the DVSA for costs towards the investigation and prosecution.

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