Live­stock haulier is handed four-year ban

The Oban Times - - News -

AN OBAN live­stock haulier who know­ingly broke the law to make false records of his driv­ing du­ties has been dis­qual­i­fied from run­ning and driv­ing HGVs for four years.

In­dus­try reg­u­la­tor Joan Aitken said Don­ald Mackay, 44, of Kil­more, had been the au­thor of his own mis­for­tune and that his ac­tions had un­der­mined safe and fair haulage.

In a writ­ten judge­ment is­sued af­ter a pub­lic in­quiry in Ed­in­burgh last month, Ms Aitken con­cluded that it had suited Mackay fi­nan­cially and com­mer­cially to make false records and ex­tend his hours.

HGV driv­ers are re­quired, by law, to take cer­tain rests and breaks so they are not af­fected by fa­tigue while driv­ing.

Dur­ing the in­quiry, the Traf­fic Com­mis­sioner heard that Mackay had been us­ing an­other driver’s card, as well as his own, to record du­ties that he was un­der­tak­ing.

When gov­ern­ment in­spec­tors an­a­lysed the driver cards af­ter stop­ping Mackay at the road­side in Au­gust 2016, they found 57 in­fringe­ments be­tween Fe­bru­ary 8, 2014, and July 30, 2016, 25 of which were very se­ri­ous and a threat to road safety.

Mackay told the reg­u­la­tor that it was dif­fi­cult to get driv­ers for dou­ble-man­ning, where du­ties are shared to en­sure driv­ers’ hours rules are met. He added that live­stock haulage was a com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try and that is why he took ad­van­tage of the other driver’s card.

How­ever, the Traf­fic Com­mis­sioner re­jected those ar­gu­ments.

‘ Is­lands haulage and live­stock haulage do not re­quire dis­hon­esty,’ she re­marked. ‘ They re­quire proper or­gan­i­sa­tion and be­ing un­afraid to say no to cus­tomers from time to time.

‘ Patently Mr Mackay wanted to keep the work and to see off his com­peti­tors. Thus he un­der­mined safe and fair haulage.

‘I do not ex­pect any op­er­a­tor li­censed by my of­fice to take on work if that work can­not be done law­fully.’

She also re­flected on the need for live­stock hauliers to be par­tic­u­larly safe be­cause driver mis­judge­ment through fa­tigue could be cat­a­strophic for the an­i­mals.

Mr Mackay’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion as an op­er­a­tor, trans­port man­ager and pro­fes­sional driver be­gan on July 1 and will run for four years.

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