have warned that they will ‘pursue and prosecute’ any haulage companies who flout the law after a Shropshire haulage boss was jailed for 8 months for falsifying driver records.
The case of Stephen holding shows that the DVSA have took the falsifying of driver records very seriously.
Holding was jailed earlier this week after he admitted to aiding and abetting drivers to interfere with digital tacograph records to deliberately disguise the illegal number of hours they were driving on the road.
The 48yr old, who runs SP Holding Services Ltd and SP Holding Tractor Hire, was told by the judge that his actions put the lives of his drivers and other road users at risk.
The court heard that drivers were regularly requested to work 18 hour days and threatened with being sacked if they refused.
Holding was charged after a joint investigation by the police and the DVSA’s fraud investigation unit.
Andy Rice, DVSA’s head of fraud, said: “As a result of the investigation it was discovered that drivers were not complying with road traffic legislation relating to drivers’ hours and records.
“In most instances it was found that drivers were on duty for longer periods than they should have been.
“While this type of offence is rare, DVSA takes the falsification of driving records very seriously and will pursue and prosecute anyone who attempts to undermine public safety.
“We are determined to tackle the small minority of operators and drivers who choose to break the rules, and we have effective measures in place to catch offenders quickly.
“We carry out investigations based on intelligence and information from the public and the haulage industry, as well as conducting checks across the strategic road network, using technology such as ANPR cameras, as well as enforcement officers at the roadside and at our check sites.”
10 of Holding’s drivers were also taken to court for falsifying records and were fined a total of £10,000 between them.
Holding’s ex-wife Tracey Smith appeared in the dock with him at Shrewsbury Crown Court.
The court was told that Holding had won several multi-million pound haulage contracts
, he built his two companies from scratch to employing nearly 200 staff at their height, Holding was also well known in Telford for his charity work.
But prosecutor Mr Timothy Harrington said Holding created an atmosphere where drivers felt they had no choice but to work unlawful hours.
The company faces sentencing for similar matters later in the year after the conclusion of a proceeds of crime hearing.
Not sure what hours you should be driving? check here for more information https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/overview