A South Island based trucking company has had its trucks ordered off the road after being served over one hundred traffic offences.
Blenheim based McCrostie Trucking just recently has had its operating licence revoked by the NZ Transport Agency, and has been cited by a High Court Judge as being a risk to public safety.
Court Justice David Gendall pointed to the risk the company poses to the publing when refusing to allow the company to continue its operations as he said this outweighed financial damage it would cause the company.
The company will not be allowed to operate until a full judicial review is done.
In the past 14 years McCrostie Trucking committed 105 traffic-related offences across its fleet of 11 vehicles, 25 of them for overloading, 13 for operating uncertified heavy motor vehicles not up to Certificate of Fitness standard, plus 38 breaches of the road user charges and 26 speeding offences, along with 34 failed police roadside safety inspections for brake faults, damaged towing connections, insufficient tyre tread, damaged or deteriorating suspension, and non-functioning lights or indicators.
The damage didn’t stop at the company and its owners. Forty-nine drivers were apprehended for a further 105 safety-related offences including 57 speeding offences, two of carelessly using a heavy motor vehicle, and various offences for failing to comply with logbook and work hour regulations.
McCrostie personally committed more than 80 traffic offences since 2000, at least 39 of these while driving heavy motor vehicles. He was disqualified seven times and paid more than $18,000 in fines.
Between 2001 and 2018, McCrostie was given 16 warnings by NZTA.
Despite this, no known accidents have occurred with McCrostie or his drivers behind the wheel.
The effect of the NZTA decision would be wide reaching, as McCrostie's wife Dominique highlighted, it would likely result in the loss of employment for many.
The company will argue during the review that the NZTA took into account irrelevant considerations such as the traffic-related offending of Daryl McCrostie, who they say is no longer involved with business operations.
But Justice Gendall rebuked this saying that he is still in charge of fleet maintenance, public relations, and owns 98 percent of shares in the company.
"He has been the figure in control on the ground and, in the past, has been the public face of the business. He is the one with the experience in the industry. Therefore, even though he may no longer be a driver, he is still in control of the company and the safety risk remains," Justice Gendall concluded.
Justice Gendall said a transport service licence was a privilege not a right.
The judge accepted that Peter Stevenson, the delegated decision maker for the NZTA, found the instances of non- compliance showed a consistent course of conduct and a culture of non-compliance.
Stevenson had also issued a notice of proposal to have McCrostie’s drivers licence for classes 2,3,4, and 5 revoked, and prohibit him from driving them for three years.
David Aitken, CEO of the National Road Carriers in Auckland praised the NZTA for their increased work tackling issues facing the industry “The agency is doing well to be vigilant in keeping competition fair in the industry and putting effort into keeping the roads safe.”
Posted on Thursday 8th November 2018
Trucking Company Ordered off the Road
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