RHA welcomes firm action on tachograph cheat 21 December 2012

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has welcomed news that the owner of Dewart Transport has been convicted of forgery over tachograph tampering, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for three years.

On 26 February 2011, the police in Northern Ireland conducted a joint enforcement operation with the Driver & Vehicle Agency, and vehicles owned by Dewart Transport were among those examined.

Subsequently, several of the company's vehicles were seized on the grounds that tachograph interrupter devices had been installed – capable of disabling the tachograph and speed limiter.

Numerous tachograph records were also seized and examination identified instances where rest periods had been recorded by the tachograph, yet there had been continued vehicle movement.

The court heard that interrupter devices had been activated, simulating a stationary vehicle, but allowing the driver to continue, and creating false tachograph records.

"We have been campaigning hard to see this issue addressed for a number of reasons," comments RHA chief executive Geoff Dunning. "Not only does it bring the reputation of the industry and its workforce into disrepute; it places the driver and other roads users at risk."

Dunning believes that falsifying driving records is one of the most serious offences in road haulage. "Not only are they are putting lives at risk, they are undermining the livelihoods of drivers who comply with the law... The only effective deterrent for such an office is a custodial sentence."

John Challen

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Road Haulage Association Ltd

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