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Prima Cheese fleet sliced in half

  • 11 September 2012
  • By Roger Brown

Seaham, County Durham-based Prima Cheese has has had its fleet curtailed by more than half for failing to prevent some drivers from creating false driving records and committing traffic offences.

Following an August public inquiry in Leeds, Kevin Rooney (pictured), traffic commissioner (TC) for the North East of England ordered that the company’s licence immediately be reduced, from 15 vehicles and seven trailers, to six vehicles and four trailers for an indefinite period.

Rooney also suspended the company’s licence for 14 days from 28 September.

The hearing was told how a Vosa traffic examiner visited the company to follow up offences identified when one of their vehicles was stopped at the roadside in July 2011.

At the time the driver was issued a prohibition for a false record.

When the examiner inspected paperwork at the company’s premises, he found that digital records for two of the vehicles had never been downloaded by the operator, despite the legal requirement to do so every 56 days.

The examiner also identified that although vehicles were being tracked by the operator, bosses failed to realise that drivers were not recording the start of their journeys.

During an interview with the traffic examiner, MD Behroz Beni accepted that the offences committed by drivers should have come to the attention of the company, if they had been downloading the relevant data.

The MD and the company’s transport manager agreed to attend refresher courses before the end of the year and also assured the TC that drivers would receive 14 hours of driver CPC training in the same period.

Additionally, the business has to ensure that drivers’ records are independently analysed and monthly reports are reviewed, along with a full audit of procedures by an external body every six months.


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