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Suspension for driver who falsified records

  • 25 February 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Deputy traffic commissioner (TC) for Scotland Richard McFarlane has suspended the vocational licence of a South Lanarkshire truck driver for nine months for deliberately falsifying his driving records.

In a decision following a driver conduct hearing held in Edinburgh in December 2013, the deputy TC said William Duguid was not a credible or reliable witness.

Officers from the DVSA – the recently combined Vosa and the DSA – analysed Duguid’s records after they stopped him at the roadside in February 2013.

Examiners found 42 offences – just over half of them for false records – in the 29 tachograph charts they looked at. They also discovered that the mileage records on the vehicle’s odometer and the distance captured on tachographs did not match mileage manually recorded at the start of Duguid’s next journey.

In his evidence to the TC, Duguid said there had been instances where he left the vehicle at a delivery point and it might have been moved by another driver. On another occasion he had run out of time during a journey and the vehicle was driven by someone else while he followed in a car.

Duguid admitted that he had been wrong to take the mileage record from the end of his last journey when starting the next one and that he should have used the mileage record on the vehicle’s odometer to provide an accurate record of his duties. He also told the deputy TC that he had used the vehicle privately to travel to facilities after he had been parked up overnight, but did not record this properly either.

His solicitor said there had been no financial incentive or reward in committing the offences.
Duguid, a truck driver for 37 years, had been reported by Vosa officers in 2011 for driving without the correct entitlement after it had expired. He had also been reported for making a false record.
Reflecting on the patterns of offending revealed in the case, McFarlane said: “In situations of this nature, the explanation is invariably that the work undertaken by a driver cannot be lawfully carried out within the drivers’ hours rules and regulations.

“As often as not, drivers ill-advisedly then start interfering with their record keeping in an attempt to generate records which, on the face of it, disclose lawful driving. “The real and worrying mischief in this is that if a driver is prepared to conceal his or her true driving and duty time, then that driver is prepared to take the risk of driving while tired with the likelihood of falling asleep at the wheel, thereby significantly compromising their own safety and, more worryingly, the safety of other road users.”


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