Following an investigation by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), John Tierney of Frankfort, Dunkerrin, Birr, Co. Offaly was before Tullamore District Court on 24 April 2017.
Mr Tierney who operates a road transport business, was convicted on a charge for false or misleading records for several vehicles operated by him. There were further charges for breaches of driver’s hour’s regulations and failing to ensure correct use of vehicle recording equipment, that were all taken into consideration by the Court.
The Court convicted and fined Mr Tierney €4,000. The RSA investigation revealed serious and systematic non-compliance by this road transport operator in ensuring compliance with the European Communities (Road Transport)( Working Conditions and Road Safety) Regulations 2008.
Since February 2012, the RSA has successfully prosecuted 28 cases against both road transport operators and drivers for breaches of driver’s hours, tachograph and road transport operator licensing laws in County Offaly.
EU Regulations require transport operators to organise and monitor drivers work. The clear purpose of the regulations is to place a responsibility on an employer to prevent contraventions of the driver’s hour’s rules and to promote road safety.
The EU tachograph and driver’s hour’s rules are designed to protect against driver fatigue and to protect the travelling public. The existence of the tachograph and driver’s hour’s regulations and the detailed requirements designed to promote road safety, are widely known by employers of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers. Non-compliance with the driver’s hour’s regulations results in driver fatigue which is a contributory factor to 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland.
Operators in breach of driver’s hour’s requirements are also profiting from undercutting compliant operators and contributing to unfair competition in the road haulage industry.
The RSA is working hard to make our roads safer for all road users. A more targeted approach towards enforcement is being implemented and those operators who are serially and seriously non-compliant are being targeted by the Authority and An Garda Síochána.
The Authority tries to minimise disruption to the most compliant operators. A stepped approach to enforcement is applied by the RSA and only the most serious cases are taken to Court.