A Glasgow truck driver has been banned from professional driving until 2035 following a series of convictions for dangerous driving.
Traffic commissioner (TC) for Scotland, Joan Aitken, said she did not want to wait for Hugh Cowan Richardson to kill or injure someone before disqualifying him from driving for an indefinite period.
Richardson had previously been disqualified for three years in 2012 for a number of offences that included tachograph falsification, failing to stop his vehicle when directed, making a physical threat to an enforcement officer, and preventing an enforcement officer from immobilising his truck ?(CM 4 October 2012).
The TC has now made an order for the disqualification to run until ?29 November 2035, which is his? 75th birthday, after more details of his conduct emerged.
After applying for the return of his HGV licence earlier this year, Richardson was called to a driver conduct hearing on 10 August after the DVLA informed the TC of convictions Richardson had not made the TC aware of at the 2012 hearing. These included driving dangerously on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road.
In August 2011, Richardson endangered other road users when he overtook a car and another truck in a single manoeuvre on a blind bend; exceeded the road’s 40mph speed limit; drove “dangerously close” to a car; and overtook despite continuous double white lines on the A75.
He was disqualified from driving for 18 months at Stranraer Sheriff Court at a hearing in 2012.
At the driver conduct hearing last month, Richardson told the TC that he was a reformed character and claimed there had been no offences since the disqualification. However, the TC discovered that he had driven through a red traffic light two months after the 2012 driver conduct hearing, for which he received a fixed penalty.
In her written decision on 18 August, Aitken said the manner in which Richardson drove “defies belief”.
“Not only was he engaging in the blatant defiance and manipulation of the drivers’ hours and tachograph rules (as narrated in my 2012 decision); mobile phone offending; failing to identify a driver; and obstructing DVSA and the police in their important road safety duties, but there is now this further factor: that his own driving of the lorry was dangerous,” the TC said.
She added, had she known about the dangerous driving in 2012, she would not have restricted his ban to three years.
During the hearing Richardson told the TC that he wanted to return to truck driving and abandon his current work as a yard operator as there was more money to be made.
The TC said: “Money being his motivation 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 am going to draw the line and it is that Mr Richardson’s time as a lorry driver is ended in the interests of road safety.”