Richard Whitehouse, 51, of Elizabeth Avenue, Droitwich will be …

AN HGV driver from Droitwich has been suspended from driving professionally for making false records about his mileage. The Traffic Commissioner made the order that Richard Whitehouse, 51, of Elizabeth Avenue, Droitwich be suspended from professional driving for 14 weeks during a driver conduct hearing in Bristol. The ban took effect from 11.59pm on July 1.

Whitehouse, a professional driver since 1994, was convicted of four offences of knowingly making or using a false record on April 26 last year. Three other offences were taken in to account in sentencing. The offences occurred in April, May and June 2014.

Whitehouse was driving a vehicle fitted with an analogue tachograph. The ‘missing mileage’ covered 10km to 15km. Whitehouse had been moving the lorry to find a place to rest.

The journeys all either started or finished at Rungis, a meat market near Paris. The Traffic Commissioner Kevin Rooney wrote that it was a busy market and not a place where rest could be found easily. The area around the market was considered too dangerous to park overnight.

However, he wrote: “I also remind myself that the research shows that between one in five and one in six deaths on the extra-urban road network is caused by a driver who is asleep at the time.” The hearing was conjoined with a Public Inquiry for Gilders Transport Limited and seven other drivers. All the company’s vehicles are now equipped with digital tachographs after the Traffic Commissioner said that the company ‘must share a significant element of responsibility’.

The Traffic Commissioner wrote in his report: “It was clear from that hearing that the systems in place within Gilders Transport Ltd for the management of drivers hours and tachographs were inadequate.” The drivers’ hours and tachograph rules are designed to prevent drivers from working whilst tired. They also set a context for competition between hauliers – and therefore drivers – by specifying maximum driving periods and minimum rest periods.

Csaba Czibolya, 27, of Merrywood Road, Bristol will be suspended from professional driving for 12 weeks from 11.59pm on July 2. Mark Major, 42, of Birkby Close, Hamilton, Leicester will be suspended from professional driving for nine weeks from 11.5pm on July 2. Christopher Mannion, 53, of Greenfields, St Martins, Oswestry will be suspended from professional driving for four weeks from 11.59pm on July 9.

Juhasz Guyala, 45, of Gretton Fields, Gretton will be suspended from professional driving for three weeks from 11.59pm on July 2.

Mr Rooney said: “The system of regulating drivers’ hours relies to a significant degree on trust and it is inescapable that the drivers’ actions struck at the heart of that trust.”

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