Driver taken off the road in Ewloe after more than 24 hour stint in defective lorry

A lorry driver who drove for more than 24 hours without proper breaks in a defective vehicle has been taken off the roads. Vilnis Ekups, who was driving for Gerry Quinn International Transport Limited based in Donegal in the Republic of Ireland had driven for two separate stretches of 16 and 28 hours in the previous seven days, without a proper break and had falsified his records to try and cover up his law breaking when he was stopped by DVSA enforcement officers in Ewloe. In addition to multiple breaches of drivers’ hours regulations, the driver’s vehicle – a 44 ton lorry – had a number of defects, including some that still hadn’t been fixed since the last time it was pulled over.

These included a fractured brake disc, a fault on the anti-lock braking system and inoperative front indicators. Because of the number of rules broken DVSA fined the operator ?2,000, immobilised the lorry until the driver took a proper rest and fixed the outstanding defects and has reported him to the DVSA’s counterpart agency in Ireland, the Road Safety Authority. Martin Garlick, vehicle enforcement manager, Wales, said: “DVSA’s first priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

There’s simply no excuse for driving tired or with a vehicle in such poor condition “We know that tired drivers can injure or kill other road users and themselves. In a large, heavy vehicle the results can be devastating.”

Driver fatigue is a contributory factor in up to 20 per cent of road accidents, and up to one quarter of serious accidents, according to the Royal Society for the Prevent of Accidents (RoSPA).

Fatigue-induced crashes are around 50 per cent more likely to result in death or serious injury and lorry drivers are in one of the highest risk groups.

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