A Glasgow lorry driver was disqualified until 2035 on Tuesday as regulator rules he can not be trusted with HGVs after an incident on the A75 near Creetown in 2011.
The driver has been disqualified from professional driving after the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Joan Aitken, heard a “chilling” account of his dangerous driving on the A75.
Hugh Richardson, of Newhall Street, appeared at a driver conduct hearing last month after he applied for the return of his professional driving licence.
The Traffic Commissioner had previously disqualified Mr Richardson for three years in 2012 but was told of additional matters when he asked the DVLA to renew his entitlements this year.
This included a conviction for dangerous driving in November 2012, where he had exceeded the speed limit on the A75 in an HGV and caused danger to other road users.During the inquiry, the Commissioner heard that Mr Richardson had driven
dangerously close behind a vehicle, overtaken the car despite continuous double white lines and, on the same journey, overtook another car and a lorry in a single manoeuvre round a blind right hand bend and over a blind
Mr Richardson was fined £1000 by Stranraer Sheriff Court for the offence, which took place on 13 August 2011 on the Gretna-Stranraer road near to Creetown, and also disqualified from driving for 18 months. He was additionally required to re-sit the driving test.
At the hearing, Mr Richardson told the Traffic Commissioner he was a reformed character, with a previous prison sentence serving as a catalyst for change. This had been a sobering experience for him. Mr Richardson was now in full time employment as a yard operator, while also working as a fast food delivery driver.
He told Miss Aitken he was looking to return to lorry driving and give up his other jobs because there was more money in HGVs. Mr Richardson also said he had changed his attitude to authorities since leaving prison.
The Traffic Commissioner was made aware of a further conviction for failing to comply with a traffic light signal in October 2012 - he was ordered to pay a £100 fine and given three points on his licence by Glasgow Justices
Court. She noted this revealed his driving was not at the careful end of the spectrum.
In a written decision issued after the hearing, Miss Aitken said it defied belief that an HGV driver could drive in the way that Mr Richardson had on the A75 - a road which has seen many fatalities and serious injuries.
“I am weighing up his risk to road safety in Great Britain and the wellbeing of the police and DVSA officers who are charged with enforcing laws day in and day out on the roads of Great Britain. Mr Richardson wants his LGV entitlement back to make more money and to do a driving job that he likes. Money being his motivation (he spoke of being able to double his
money) I have to be especially wary of him for he is a man who historically has put money before road safety and respect for others.
“I remind him and also myself that it is simply good fortune which has protected other road users from death or injury through Mr Richardson’s conduct. I do not have to wait for him to kill or injure someone before I can exercise my powers to disqualify indefinitely. I am entitled to use my powers to prevent such happening.”