A skip operator has been put out of business by a traffic commissioner as it was discovered they had knowingly broken the Driver CPC law for 19 months.
The offender, Richard Mutton, drove for more than 18 months without a Driver CPC qualification and committed a number of offences for driving for more than four and a half hours without a break.
South East and Metropolitan Traffic Commissioner (TC), Nick Denton, revoked Mr Mutton’s licence stating that he was not a reputable drivers, and that his transport manager, John Bushnell, showed a ‘shocking degree of ignorance’. In his decision, Nick Denton commented that Mr Bushnell had ‘clearly made no effort to keep up to date with the changing legislation or other developments’, and that his ignorance led to Mr Mutton being able to drive unqualified for so long.
Mr Bushnell claimed to be unaware of the issue until a DVSA roadside encounter which brought to light Mr Mutton’s lack of qualification. However, this check showed that he had also failed to regularly check the drivers’ tachograph charts and failed to identify a change of entity, which led to Mr Mutton operating as a limited company under a sole trader licence. The tachographs showed that Mr Mutton had either failed to complete daily walk around checks, or had failed to record any checks he made on the chart.
Further pressing by the DVSA resulted in Mr Bushnell admitting that he was unaware of the deadline for acquiring Driver CPC and was unaware that the counterpart to a driving licence has been abolished.
TC, Nick Denton, commented: “The strong implication was that these charts were either not checked by Mr Bushnell, or that he did check them, but failed to identify or take action to redress these obvious failings.” During the investigation, it was noted that Mr Mutton had appeared at five public inquiries in a period of six years.
Continuing, Denton said: “Since the most recently public inquiry in 2014, he (Richard Mutton) has changed entity without informing me and without applying for a new licence. He has driven a HGV on an almost daily basis for 19 months without the legally required Driver CPC, only undertaking the necessary final two modules of training after he had been stopped on 28th April 2016.”
At the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Bushnell was disqualified indefinitely from acting as a transport manager under any licence. Denton concluded that the driver, Mr Mutton, required at least six months away from the industry “to bring home to him that operating outside of the law has consequences and to enable him to undertake further training and a chance in his attitude to compliance.”
Mr Bushnell has been granted 28 days to wind down his business before the revocation takes effect.