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€11,000 in fines for bus operators for breach of road safety regulations

Following investigations by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), both Citi Bus Limited and Last Bus Limited of Moorhill House, Brannockstown, Co Kildare trading as Dublin Coach were before Naas District Court for breaches of tachograph and drivers’ hours regulations. Both companies operate a road passenger business.

Citi Bus Limited, on 5 February, 2018, pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to produce and handover records at the request of an RSA Transport Officer as well as charges of failing to make regular checks and failing to organise drivers’ work to ensure compliance with the regulations, failing to download vehicle units and failing to ensure the tachograph equipment was functioning correctly. The Court convicted on the six charges and fined Citi Bus Limited a total of €6,000 and also made an award of costs against the company bringing the total sanction imposed in excess of €7,700.

Last Bus Limited, on 5 March, 2018, pleaded guilty to six charges of cause and purport to authorise the driver to fail to take a daily rest period and to exceed daily driving as well as charges for failing to make regular checks. The Court convicted on the six charges and fined Last Bus Limited a total of €5,000 an award of costs was also made against the company bringing the total sanction imposed in excess of €5,500.

The Road Safety Authority investigations revealed serious and systematic non-compliance by these road passenger operators in ensuring compliance with the European Communities (Road Transport)( Working Conditions and Road Safety) Regulations 2008.

EU Regulations require road passenger operators to organise and monitor drivers work and the clear purpose of the regulations is to place a responsibility on an employer of drivers to prevent contraventions of the drivers’ hours regulations and to promote road safety.

The EU tachograph and drivers’ hours rules are designed to protect against driver fatigue and to protect the travelling public. The existence of the tachograph and drivers’ hours regulations and the detailed requirements designed to promote road safety, are widely known by employers. Non-compliance with the drivers’ hours regulations results in driver fatigue which is a contributory factor to 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland. Operators in breach of drivers’ hours requirements are also profiting from undercutting compliant operators and contributing to unfair competition in the road haulage industry.