Glasgow lorry driver’s 20-year ban for ‘chilling’ driving

A lorry travels down the A75. Hugh Richardson has been banned for 20 years from driving HGVs. Picture: Contributed
A lorry travels down the A75. Hugh Richardson has been banned for 20 years from driving HGVs. Picture: Contributed
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A GLASGOW lorry driver has been banned for 20 years by the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, who said she would not wait for him to kill someone.

Joan Aitken acted after a hearing a “chilling” account of Hugh Richardson’s dangerous driving.

She said he could not be trusted with lorries.

Ms Aitken said she was ending Richardson’s time as a lorry driver “in the interests of road safety”.

The ban will last until he is 75 years old.

The move came after Richardson, of Newhall Street, Dalmarnock, appeared before the traffic commissioner at a driver conduct hearing last month.

He had applied for the return of his professional licence following a three-year ban.

Two months after the ban was imposed in 2012, Richardson was fined £1,000 by Stranraer Sheriff Court for dangerous driving on A75 near Creetown in Dumfries and Galloway.

He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months and forced to re-sit his driving test.

That hearing heard that Richardson had driven dangerously close behind a car, and then overtaken it despite there being continuous double white lines on the stretch of road, in the ­incident on the Gretna-Stranraer road in 2011.

He also overtook another car and a lorry in a single manoeuvre on a blind right-hand bend and over a blind summit. Ms Aitken said Richardson’s driving had “defied belief” on a road which she said had seen many deaths and serious injuries.

In a written judgment published yesterday, Ms Aitken said: “Mr Richardson wants his LGV [Large Goods Vehicle] entitlement back to make more money and to do a driving job that he likes.

“Money being his motivation (he spoke of being able to double his money) I have to be especially wary of him for he is a man who historically has put money before road safety and respect for others.

“I remind him and also myself it is simply good fortune which has protected other road users from death or injury through Mr Richardson’s conduct.

“I do not have to wait for him to kill or injure someone before I can exercise my powers to disqualify indefinitely.

“I am entitled to use my powers to prevent such happening.”

In a separate case, Richardson was fined £100 and three penalty points added to his driving licence for failing to comply with traffic lights in Glasgow in 2012.

Ms Aitken noted “this revealed his driving was not at the careful end of the spectrum”.

Richardson had told the hearing he was a reformed character, and a previous prison sentence had been a “catalyst for change”.

Ms Aitken said prison had been a sobering experience for Richardson, who now worked as both a yard operator and a fast food delivery driver.