Truck driver gets lenghty driving ban over false records

File photo dated 13/12/11 of a sign for DVLA offices
File photo dated 13/12/11 of a sign for DVLA offices

A heavy goods vehicle driver has been banned from professional driving for three years after he falsified his records and put other road users at risk.

Christopher Champion from St Helens manipulated his driving records in a “dishonest fashion” and “for his own convenience”.

Government inspectors found that Champion had used a device to interfere with his tachograph - a device which recorded his driving duties - making it show that he was taking rest when he was actually driving.

By law, HGV drivers are required to take certain rests and breaks so they are not affected by fatigue when driving.

The 39-year-old was stopped by police in Bury St Edmunds last August, and officers found that the vehicle’s tachograph was showing the vehicle at rest when it was actually being driven.

A vehicle examiner from the DVLA also inspected the vehicle and found that a magnet had been attached to the unit, to stop the device from sending signals that would show it in transit.

The tampering is used by drivers to get around the rules for taking rests and breaks, particularly when they run out of time during a journey.

An investigation found that Champion had created 13 false records of his driving in total.

At a conduct hearing, he argued that continuing driving was the only way he could keep his job.

But the regulator concluded that Champion’s offending required a lengthy period outside of professional driving.

“On numerous occasions over a period of two and a half months you manipulated records in a dishonest fashion for your own convenience,” he remarked.

“Driving whilst tired places at risk the lives of other drivers, as well as members of the public and yourself”.