The DVSA has yet again highlighted a criminal prosecution whereby a driver has received a suspended custodial prison sentence for only three counts of knowingly creating a false tachograph record.
Driver Steven Anderson was convicted at Swindon Crown Court in January 2024 and received a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay DVSA costs of £500 and undertake 170 hours of unpaid community service.
No doubt the driver will also be called to appear before the Traffic Commissioner for a driver conduct hearing in due course where he will face his professional driving licence being suspended or even revoked.
The case serves as a reminder of the seriousness of a driver “pulling”, or failing to insert, their tachograph card, especially when the driver is due to be on break or rest. With the advancement of technology, not only in cab but also remotely through DVSA enforcement tools such as ANPR, it is incredibly difficult for drivers to get away with any tachograph manipulations these days.
If the driver in this case had left his driver card in the head and it showed a drivers’ hours infringement (i.e. going over his hours), he would have probably been dealt with at the roadside by either a warning or a fixed penalty notice.
In short, it simply is not worth taking a risk and driving without your tachograph card inserted when it should be! As an operator, make sure you are undertaking detailed and regular checks of the vehicle unit data to ensure that any instances of “missing mileage” or “unknown driver movements” are not occasions where the driver should have inserted a card.
If you have been accused of drivers’ hours and tachograph offences, including creating false records, or the DVSA are criticising your drivers’ hours and tachograph management systems as part of an investigation, contact us for specialist advice by calling 0345 872 6666 or by completing our online enquiry form.