Expert Witness Services

Public Inquiry, Crown Court, Magistrates Court, Tribunals, Civil Court or In-house Investigations at Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance, we’ve experienced them all.

In the course of our day to day work we are instructed in many legal matters; these range from alleged breaches of EU Drivers’ Hours or Tachograph Regulations to Corporate Manslaughter or Conspiracy; drug smuggling cases to dangerous driving, overloading to PG9 Prohibitions to name just a few.

We are instructed by Barristers, Solicitors, Operators, Transport Managers, Insurance Companies and Individuals as Experts in our fields and having produced Reports will attend to give evidence to the Court/Tribunal/Inquiry if required as an Expert Witness, fulfilling our legal obligations in that role.

Investigations can begin through various channels and we are contacted at various stages to assist.  It is always better to contact us as early as possible which may be immediately preceding an accident or incident, a DVSA stop or visit, the issuing of a PG9 or the receipt of a Summons.  However, if the Public Inquiry brief has landed on the doorstep, it is not too late.

You need to ensure that you have Experts checking the evidence, are the allegations correct?  Is there an alternative explanation?  Has all the evidence been considered which begin following a call-up letter to Public Inquiry often prove that many of the hours’ allegations are caused by errors in the drivers’ record keeping rather than actual breaches of the regulations. We were also able to rapidly implement and install appropriate systems to give the Traffic Commissioner assurance of improved and continued compliance as well as identifying other matters which have been missed by the DVSA officers but have led to drivers being disciplined and dismissed for gross misconduct.

EXPERT ANALYSIS, REPORTS & ADVICE FOR TRANSPORT COMPLIANCE

To properly assist in this subject area an encyclopaedic knowledge of EU Drivers’ Hours and Tachograph Regulations, Working Time Directive and GB Domestic Regulations is crucial in determining whether allegations of breaches are proven or not.

Leading our analysis team is Gordon Humphreys, who has worked on many cases over the last 30 years, where his Reports have established the facts of the case.  These range from matters of simple hours’ allegations, to those of falsification and Conspiracy.  So, whether you are a Solicitor, Barrister, Operator or driver, we can provide you with the detailed analysis and sound analysis and advice with respect to the allegations.

Your case may relate to single or multiple allegations, it may relate to Summonses to Court (for matters of permitting, using, causing or conspiracy), Fixed Penalty Notices at the roadside or a Public Inquiry. They may be levelled against an Operator, a driver or the nominated Transport Manager; we have experienced them all and, as we often find, some or all the allegations may not be accurate; and for a fair outcome, and you need facts, a definitive and accepted account.

Bearing in mind that any proven offences may result in a Public Inquiry or Driver Conduct hearing it is essential to establish the facts that can be proven at the earliest opportunity; there are many outside factors to take into consideration; analysis is not simply viewing the recordings as it appears on the driver’s digital card, Vehicle Unit or analogue record.

This is where Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance excel, with our experience of reviewing all the available evidence and offering independent expert analysis and advice.  By engaging the services of FTTC you will have access to some of the most respected industry experts in the UK and you can rest assured we will review your case in detail before offering reliable analysis, reports and giving evidence in a legal forum.

Best Practice = Be Proactive, not Reactive

For those who have been called to attend a Public Inquiry, they will know that for a successful outcome the key is preparation, not just saying the Operator is going to make changes, but they need to have proved they are doing it, thus giving the Traffic Commissioner the reassurance that they can trust the Operator moving forward. 

  • An Operator therefore needs to prove that they have addressed the issues raised;
  • These may be related to Tachograph and/or Maintenance Systems, Encounter History, Failure to Notify the Office of the Traffic Commissioner or other Regulatory matters;
  • Lessons have been learnt from the past and the negative events AND;
  • The Operator implemented robust remedial action and systems to prevent it happening again AND 
  • These systems will be continually monitor moving forward to prevent any repetition. 

Therefore, whether an Operator has just had a visit from the DVSA, a driver has been stopped and a negative encounter has occurred, Directors, Transport Managers or drivers are being interviewed or you have been served a Summons or Public Inquiry Brief, please give Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance a call.  It is never too soon to contact us, the earlier the better, in some cases early action can prevent further action later and if you need legal advice we can point you in the direction of specialist transport solicitors that we have worked with in the past. 

At Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance, we are well versed in the preparation of reports, using our recognised experts to give assistance, prepare Reports and to present evidence at Public Inquiries. 

Whether you are an Operator or the Solicitor representing them, our first steps together are vital.  We will review the whole position, analyse relevant information, study the Public Inquiry Brief (if this has been served), identify areas of concern and quickly implement systems (tachograph, maintenance, other statutory undertakings, as applicable) including those considered by the Transport Tribunal as the ‘Gold Standard’ for the transport industry to prevent the experience being repeated. 

Gordon Humphreys and the Foster Tachographs Limited Team have been recognised by Traffic Commissioners as suitable experts to undertake analysis and audits which may be required following a successful Public Inquiry outcome.  

So, when you come to us for analysis, reports and advice, you have the peace of mind that our attention to detail, honesty and integrity are widely acknowledged and accepted.

HOW ROBUST ARE YOUR SYSTEMS?

From our experience, many Operators do not have full and effective systems.  Some systems may need a ‘tweak’, but others need a complete overhaul.  

How do we audit a system?  With Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance, we target Best Practice, based upon our experience of what has landed Operators, Directors, Transport Managers or Drivers in front of the Courts.

Many of these Operators were undertaking analysis, they had some form of systems and they may have had audits undertaken; so why did they end up in trouble?  With FTTC, Operators have access to high quality tachograph compliance experts auditing systems to the highest standards, testing them in their robustness and where applicable implementing high quality compliance systems which will ensure meeting Operator’s Licence undertakings.  

We can attend and undertake a one-off audit or offer regular audits at agreed time intervals with the cost spread over an agreed period; you choose. 

We are widely regarded as leading experts in the UK for these types of systems, and no less an authority than the Transport Tribunal has described our expertise as follows: 

“We agree with the description of Mr Humphreys’ input into the Appellant’s operations as being ‘gold standard’ together with his proposals as to the future.” 

If the very worst was to happen – how the compliance systems stand up to a full, detailed investigation is key as to whether there is any further action.

We will identify any weaknesses in the system looking at, but not limited to:

We review everything with respect to whether an Operator’s systems meet the responsibilities as set out in the Alison Jones Transport Tribunal (L56): 

“In our view this statutory undertaking requires more than the operator should set up adequate systems and then leave them to run themselves; what is required is constant supervision and monitoring to ensure that the systems work. In other words, I am directing myself to the effectiveness of the system to detect drivers’ hours and tachograph offences and the resulting action taken as a consequence of such findings.” 

It is a short statement, but one against which an Operator is continually judged and simply having an Induction document, analysing tachograph records and having them signed by a driver does not meet an Operator’s Statutory Undertakings. 

To talk to us about FOSTER COMPLIANCE, please call 01772-655155 or complete the Contact Us Form below.

With the introduction of John Outhwaite to the team this has enabled Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance to expand and extend their services, so that either separately from, or in conjunction with, our ‘Gold Standard’ Tachograph Systems and Audit services, you can also benefit from the same high-quality expertise in conducting in-depth audits of your maintenance systems.

We will test maintenance systems to the limit of their capabilities and compare the results and data against current industry levels, expected industry standards, to ensure an Operator fully meets the standards as given through the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness and Best Practice.

As part of this exercise, and similar to our Tachograph Compliance Audits, we do not simply do a ‘tick’ box exercise; our audits are a proper test of an Operator’s maintenance systems, reviewing each stage to ensure that the correct procedures and records are in place AND that they are working.  

We will ensure that drivers, mechanics, maintenance providers, and any other personnel involved in an Operator’s processes, are effectively and efficiently fulfilling the expectations of the Traffic Commissioner and Enforcement Authorities. 

Furthermore, as with all our audits, it’s not just about identifying areas of weakness and suggesting remedies. We will use our expertise to provide reliable, proven and accepted solutions to aid compliance and put the client at the forefront of industry best practice. 

We will identify any weaknesses in the system looking at, but not limited to:

To talk to us about FOSTER COMPLIANCE, please call 01772-655155 or complete the Contact Us Form below.

When it comes to submitting an Application or Variation for an Operator’s Licence, the importance of fulfilling your obligations when submitting cannot be over-stressed.  Not only must it be accurate, but does it meet your needs, can potential hurdles be preempted and addressed on application thereby reducing any delays.  An application online may take 7 weeks or longer and therefore unnecessary delays can be detrimental to any business plans.

At Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance we have a team, who have that knowledge and experience to assist any Operator in their application.  Again using the expertise of what may place an Operator in trouble we can work with the client to guide them through the process.  There are so many variables:

  • Who needs an Operator’s Licence?
  • Are there any of my Vehicles which are Exempt?
  • What type of Operator’s Licence Do I need? Standard National, Standard International, Restricted?
  • Do I need a Transport Manager?  What is their Role?
  • Do I need a Community Licence?
  • When Do I Apply for a Licence?
  • How many Vehicles can I Operate?
  • Can I get an Interim Licence?
  • What do they mean about advertising your Application and the Traffic Commissioner publishing Applications and Decisions?

Tachograph Compliance Audits, Vehicle Maintenance Compliance, Audits, Operator Licensing, Maintenance Supplier Assessment, DVSA Earned Recognition, Maintenance Systems, Compliance Audits, Drivers' Compliance, Tachographs, Tachograph Systems, Tachograph, Maintenance, Digital Tachographs, Tachograph Regulations, Working Time Directive, Digicard, Driver Card, Digital Tachographs, OPTAC

It can be complex and confusing, and the above are just a few questions that need to be answered.  The guides issued run to 48 pages and for your information below are the links to the Guides for obtaining an Operator’s Licence:

Goods Vehicle Operator Licensing Guide (GV74)

PSV operator licensing guide (PSV437)

Call Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance and let us give you some Foster Care through the complex process. 

 

When it comes to forensic analysis of tachograph data and reconstruction of route analysis, you need to know you are in capable hands. 

Our professional analysis of both analogue and digital tachographs has provided vital, independent evidence in both criminal and civil courts throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

Our reputation as tachograph analysis experts means that we are and have been consulted by both defence and prosecution teams and also, in civil matters, as the Single Joint Expert. 

With our forensic approach to investigating the events that took place during a road traffic accident, you can rely on us to conduct in depth collision analysis and reconstruction from the available tachograph data to identify the causes and contributing factors. 

The detailed analysis processes have also been used in detailed route plotting to determine the location of stops and/or the routes travelled.

This rigorous analysis can be invaluable and is not simply limited to collisions; a few examples of cases that we have been involved in with respect to analysis of tachograph data are given below:

  • Corporate manslaughter
  • Causing death by dangerous driving
  • Careless & inconsiderate driving
  • Drug smuggling
  • Thefts of load
  • Personal injury
  • Evasion of duty on cigarettes and/or alcohol
  • People Smuggling
  • Civil Liability claims
  • Route reconstruction

With our team of experts we can offer you reliable evidence and advice based upon the data available, considering all possible factors, including matters that may not have been considered at the initial time of instruction.

DUE DILIGENCE – NON-COMPLIANCE CAN HIDE THE TRUE PROFIT OF A BUSINESS!

The acquisition of a Goods Vehicle or Passenger Vehicle business is not without risk, so how can a prospective buyer know they are getting value for money and taking on a reputable, compliant concern? 

We would strongly recommend, that along with the accounts, which are considered in detail prior to acquiring a transport operation, there are hundreds, if not thousands of files, documents and systems relating to compliance that should also be reviewed.

The new Operator or those representing them need to ensure that the vendor’s tachograph, maintenance and Operator Licence compliance systems are fully audited.

The key question is, was the vendor making money by operating ILLEGALLY? 

We have seen, on a number of occasions that unscrupulous operators have achieved profitability based on a less than healthy approach to compliance with EC Drivers’ Hours’ and Tachograph Regulations and/or the roadworthiness of their vehicles and our experience with helping clients in matters of a Breach of Warranty bears this out. 

It is better to act before purchase, rather than having the significant expense of remedial action, as well as the responsibilities of the O’ Licence Undertakings now being at the purchasers door following the sale.

How can Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance help?  It is quite simple, as well as auditing accounts, BEFORE PURCHASE ensure that the profitability of the business has been obtained and maintained legally. 

We can undertake a full and accurate review of their compliance systems on your behalf, including their current levels of compliance, to ensure that there are no hidden ‘surprises’ in the future and that any factors that require improvement can be built in to any commercial deal. 

Not only do Foster Tachographs & Transport Compliance work closely with our clients in the preparation of a Report, but we also have vast experience of attending and giving evidence in Crown Courts, the Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey), Magistrates’ Courts, Civil Courts, Public Inquiries and Tribunals.

As a consequence we fully understand that all of our Reports MUST meet the requirements of an Expert Witness under the Criminal Procedure Rules or Civil Procedure Rules as appropriate and abide by those at all times.

Therefore, in both Report writing and the giving of evidence we give a balanced and objective viewpoint based upon the facts available.  We are there to assist the Court and NOT, as we have seen by others, for making the facts fit a selected scenario. 

It is for that reason that our evidence is often accepted, in some cases unchallenged, and is used in the summing up and Judgment.  

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We are happy to answer any question you have or provide you with an estimate. Just send us a message.

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01772 655 155 

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