Warning over tad° troubles
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by Michael Jewell • Reefer operator Langdon Industries has been warned by the Western Traffic Commissioner following the conviction of 21 of its employees on offences involving the falsification of tachograph records.
Last October the company's operations director Christopher Mort, refrigerated transport manager Rupert Rya11 and 19 drivers were ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £8,295 after being convicted at Swindon Crown Court of offences involving the falsification of tachograph records (CM 10-16 October) As well as considering disciplinary action against the Taunton-based company, Commissioner Christopher Heaps was considering its bid to add 10 vehicles to its existing licence for 60 vehicles and 198 trailers.
Tim Hayden, for Langdon, said the basis of the case had been that drivers had been paid for hours not recorded on their tachograph charts. On occasion vehicles were moved for short distances while waiting at customers' premises, and it was in the main those movements that were not recorded. Generally the drivers had not been out of hours but the effect was that they were interrupting a rest period. There were no road safety implications in those offences and that was reflected in the low level of fines imposed, maintained Hayden.
He said there were also a number of offences, which had been referred to as "frolics", where drivers had removed charts from their tachographs in order to run home.
Granting the additional vehicles with a warning, Heaps said he was satisfied from what he had been told, and from the fines imposed, that the offences had not led to the safety of the public being put at risk.