Two convictions for road transport offences can lead to an automatic loss of an Operator’s good repute. This means revocation of the Operator’s Licence and an end to the business.
Convictions include offences committed by drivers and agents acting on behalf of the Operator.
Operators should not be tempted to view convictions (however minor the likely penalty) as a form of additional low level taxation to be accepted without question. An Operator is obliged to notify the Office of the Traffic Commissioner within 28 days of the conviction. Failure to notify is in itself an offence.
Consequently, the Traffic Commissioner will become aware of a conviction. This may lead to an Operator being called to attend a Public Inquiry to decide whether or not the Operator’s Licence should be revoked.
It is therefore vital that if you or a driver face an allegation which is denied, that this is fully challenged and defended immediately. If an allegation goes unchallenged, then the Traffic Commissioner will deal with the conviction as an accepted matter of fact. The Traffic Commissioner will not entertain attempts at a later Public Inquiry to reassess the facts behind the conviction.
Whilst actively defending an allegation in Court, may well be time consuming and present an immediate cost which you won’t be able to fully recover – that time and cost are nothing when compared with the level of time and cost associated with defending yourself at Public Inquiry and the genuine risk, once you reach that stage, of being put out of business.
If you find yourself in this position, Howard Catherall can advise, assist and represent you on the following:
• DVSA / Police interviews under caution
• Magistrates Court / Crown Court proceedings
• Notifying a conviction to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner
– seeking to persuade the Traffic Commissioner that a Public Inquiry
or further attention from DVSA is unnecessary
• Public Inquiry
• Driver Conduct Hearing
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