A local company that appeared before Longford District Court last week charged under the Road Transport Working Time Directive was convicted and fined €750.
Eirf Trans Ltd, Robinstown, Granard, Co Longford appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes charged with permitting a driver not to take the appropriate rest period on September 19, 2014 within the State.
Outlining the evidence to the court John Harris, Road Safety Authority (RSA) said that he was on duty on November 11, 2014 when he stopped a lorry that was being driven by a man with a Polish driving licence.
The court was told that the driver identified himself to Mr Harris and indicated that he was employed by Erif Trans Ltd, and the company director’s name was Eamon Farrell.
“The driver said that he was driving a new lorry which the company had purchased just a few weeks before the incident and he was endeavouring to get a new licence.”
The court went on to hear that Mr Harris then inspected the lorry’s typograph records, many of which, he added, “were in relation to other drivers”.
“Within six days there were rest periods of approximately seven hours, but the official rest period is 11 hours,” Mr Harris continued.
“The driver admitted to me that he did not take adequate rest periods when he was driving.
“He also told me that he was paid a set wage and was not paid by the load.”
The court then heard how Mr Harris visited Mr Farrell at his haulage company shortly after the incident.
“Mr Farrell and his wife met with me and I inspected the typograph records at the company,” he continued.
“There were irregularities and Mr Farrell accepted that the driver did not take appropriate rest periods.
“Mr Farrell admitted to me that he wasn’t monitoring typograph records at the time of the incident but had since put a computerised system in place that now monitors all vehicles.”
The court then heard how Mr Farrell had 11 lorries on the road.
In mitigation, the defendant company’s solicitor John Quinn said that the driver had taken full responsibility for the matter and Mr Farrell had since installed a computerised tracking system which monitored the activities of all lorries on the road.
“The driver is no longer working for the company because he did not take adequate breaks on a number of occasions,” added Mr Quinn.
During his deliberations on the matter, Judge Hughes said that the haulage company now had a conviction for a criminal breach which the court considered serious.
The Judge subsequently fined the company and also awarded costs of €738 against Mr Farrell.