A PARTY planning company used a lorry to travel more than 300 miles without an MoT.
Fire and Ice Productions failed to carry out safety inspections or check drivers were working legally and has now been banned from using heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) for 28 days.
The Brighton-based events management firm – which organises corporate gatherings, Christmas parties and weddings – has now had its licence to operate vehicles suspended by the Traffic Commissioner, the haulage industry regulator.
The West Street firm’s lorry did not have a valid MoT for nine months and was used on three occasions to travel a total of 310 miles.
A public inquiry was held after an investigation by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
The agency reported that the company had failed to carry out routine safety inspections, did not have a system for drivers to report defects, operated their vehicle without a valid MoT and failed to check drivers were working legally.
The Traffic Commissioner ruled that the offences were so serious that the company’s licence to operate vehicles should be suspended until July 2.
A spokesman for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner said: “The haulage industry regulator for London and the South East made the order against Fire and Ice Productions Ltd due to safety issues, including using a vehicle without a valid MoT.
“The vehicle’s MoT had expired on August 31, 2013 but the examiner found evidence from driver records to show it had been used on three separate occasions since that time.
The vehicle had travelled around 310 miles without a valid test.
“The business had failed to respond to the findings of the DVSA vehicle examiner when requested to do so.”
In evidence given to the Traffic Commissioner, the company’s director Alasdair Adam said he and another member of staff have now undertaken extra training to check drivers’ records and all their drivers had now completed their mandatory professional driving qualifications.
In a statement to The Argus he said: “We accept the Traffic Commissioner’s ruling and aim to operate all vehicles to a higher standard in future.”