Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton came down hard on a Tottenham and Peterborough business after the owner failed to rectify problems previously cited by the regulator. Fio's Cash & Carry lost the ability to legally operate company vehicles to support their deliveries.
According to Fleet News UK, company officials were summoned before the Traffic Commission earlier this year after several licence issues surfaced. At the April 1 (2014) hearing, the regulator reduced the company's two licences that allowed for the operation of five vehicles. The reduction meant only two vehicles could be used. However, the company continued running four vehicles for the next nine days.
In a second hearing in September, it was revealed that the company's owner, Hakan Kocak, was six weeks late in attending a mandatory operator licence management course. He also ignored the requirement to instigate an independent audit of his driver hours and maintenance systems.
The repeated violations and blatant disregard for the law caused Mr Denton to come to the conclusion that Kocak could no longer be trusted to operate company vehicles. As for Kocak's business, Denton said any closure would be the result of the owner's “lack of real action” to meet his legal responsibilities.
It is unclear what the future is for Fio's Cash & Carry at either location. At any rate, the six-month disqualifications of both Kocak and another director become effective from October 23; the licence revocations become official on that same date.Legal Compliance Not an Option
The importance of this story cannot be overstated for businesses that run company vehicles. Throughout the proceedings, Commissioner Denton repeatedly spoke of his dismay that Fio's officials seemed to be terribly ignorant about their legal responsibilities. Even when instructed of their obligations, Denton said the men had no plan to comply with the law. Rather than getting help, they simply ignored their responsibilities.
Do not make the same mistake with your company. If you do not understand the law regarding operating fleet vehicles, take the time to sit and talk with someone who does. You cannot afford to be out of compliance. This includes running licence checks on each of your drivers, as well.
You may well think it is safe to assume that most of your drivers are operating legally. However, you do not know for sure unless you check. It is possible for a licence to be revoked without a worker informing you such is the case. In addition, even when a licence is still valid, a worker could have amassed numerous penalties away from work.
Fleet Licence Check can help you make the most of licence checking by doing the work for you. For decades, we have been in the business of helping motoring companies throughout the UK handle claims and check the licences of the drivers. We run about 20,000 licence checks every year.
Do not wait until your call before the Traffic Commissioner to make sure your business is in compliance with the law. Let us help you check licences.Sources:
1. Fleet News UK – http://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2014/10/6/cash-and-carry-firm-banned-from-operating-vehicles/53716/