Haulage boss denies tachograph offences

Drivers employed by a Waveney-based haulier worked illegally long hours by using devices in the cabs of their lorries to interfere with tachograph charts, it has been alleged.

Drivers employed by a Waveney-based haulier worked illegally long hours by using devices in the cabs of their lorries to interfere with tachograph charts, it has been alleged.

Six drivers who carried out work for Barry Whittle falsified the readings on tachographs charts in their lorries on 88 occasions during a five-month period, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The false readings allowed the drivers to exceed the number of hours they were legally allowed to work each day, said Miles Bennett, prosecuting.

Whittle, 49, of Colville Road, Oulton Broad, has denied six offences of conspiring with lorry drivers to make false records on tachograph charts.

Mr Bennett said five drivers who worked for Whittle had admitted falsifying tachograph records and a sixth driver had been too ill to be taken to court.

He added that investigators who went to Whittle's business premises found that three vehicles were fitted with devices designed to interrupt the power supply to the tachograph charts. The charts regulate how much work drivers were allowed to do before stopping for a break.

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“A 44.5 tonne truck in the hands of a tired driver is an accident waiting to happen,” said Mr Bennett.

­ Tachograph chart expert John Perkins, told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday that on one occasion a tachograph chart showed that the driver had started work in Dunkirk but on his weekly worksheet he was recorded as starting work in Dover that day.

Mr Perkins said that on another occasion a tachograph chart relating to work done by the same driver showed he had been travelling at 125 kilometres per hour.

Mr Perkins explained that the maximum speed for the lorry was 90 kilometres and the fact that the chart showed a speed of 125 kilometres indicated there had been some interference with the system.

The trial continues.