North West TC: use of magnets to conceal driving duties will not be tolerated

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Simon Evans, Traffic Commissioner for the North West

The North West Traffic Commissioner, Simon Evans, has used his first case as the region’s new regulator to reassure compliant operators and drivers that the most severe action will be considered against those who are caught using magnets to manipulate and conceal driving duties.

Mr Evans, who took up his post as North West Traffic Commissioner on June 1, disqualified the director of a haulage firm for two years after he admitted using a magnet to conceal driving carried out during a daily rest period. Sebastian Blizniak said he had bought the magnet for the express purpose of falsifying his driving hours.

“The conduct complained of is patently unacceptable,” Mr Evans remarked in a written decision issued after a public inquiry.

“The use of the magnet to conceal conduct undermines the rules designed to prevent driver fatigue, promote road safety and ensure fair competition in the industry.

“It is the case that the industry would be scandalised, if in the circumstances outlined, an operator were able to retain repute in such a case.”

The Traffic Commissioner revoked the O-licence held by S B Trans Ltd and disqualified Mr Blizniak from professional driving for 12 months, alongside the two year O-licence disqualification. The orders all take effect at 2359hrs on June 23, 2017.

Mr Blizniak has also been convicted and fined £1,000 for false records and insufficient rest.