After a clear case of an operator who thought ignoring prohibitions and trying to mislead the commissioner was acceptable, a recent public inquiry was held before Traffic Commissioner, Kevin Rooney.
Andrew John Southon presented a vehicle for MOT in November of last year, only for it to fail on multiple counts. Whilst vehicles do fail these tests, the problems included a tyre with a deep cut and cords exposed. This is something a driver should easily be able to spot on a daily walk-around check. DVSA unsurprisingly followed this up with a maintenance investigation and found numerous shortcomings.
Mr Southon’s claims were that he had not been the driver the morning of the MOT failure, which the commissioner found highly unlikely and an attempt to mislead. There was no break testing and a cavalier attitude to emissions, Mr Southon telling the Vehicle Examiner that “failing on emissions is not a danger to a passenger or other road user.”
Mr Southon declined to attend the Public Inquiry, as well as providing financial evidence to support his license.
The commissioner commented, “He had sought to mislead me in his written submission. Had he attended, he may have been able to provide an explanation, but he has chosen not to. Making a false statement to mislead a Traffic Commissioner is a serious matter. Operator Licensing is based on trust. I find Mr Southon no longer fit to be the holder of a PSV operator’s license.”
Mr Southon’s vocational driving license had also been suspended for 12 months.
Full decision can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/decision-for-andrew-john-southon