A man who owned his own haulage business was jailed after being caught driving long hours without taking the regulation amount of breaks, and therefore endangering lives.
Andrew Clorley, from Penley near Wrexham, admitted tampering with the tachograph, which records the number of hours driven, by swapping the sheet in the machine for another under the name of his ex-employee, Eric Groves.
However, the Vehicle and operator Services Agency (VOSA) discovered that Mr Groves no longer worked for Mr Clorley, and was out of the country, at the time that Mr Clorley committed the offences.
Mr Clorley, on seven occasions, had driven a 44-tonne articulated lorry in Wales for more than 13 hours a day without taking sufficient breaks. The limit on lorry driving is 9 hours a day.
Judge Rhys Rolands at Mold Crown Court in North Wales warned that the consequences of driving an articulated lorry over long distances when tired could be fatal.
He said: "On seven occasions you drove more than 13 hours when the regulations stipulate that it should be no more than nine hours.
"You were behind the wheel of a very large vehicle, driving long distances around Wales, when it would have been unsafe for you to have been driving.
"Owners who flout the regulations almost inevitably had to be dealt with by immediate custodial sentences."
Mr Clorley's lawyer, James Cullen, explained that his client was £72,000 in debt and feared that he would lose his business and his home, hence why he had been driving such long hours.
Mr Cullen said: "He is very sorry. He knew what he was doing was wrong."
Mr Clorley was sentenced to 30 weeks in jail.
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Read more on the story (BBC)
How tachograph rules are enforced (FindLaw)
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