CCC probe sees 678 WA truck licences suspended


Commissioner emphasises seriousness of the dangers associated with letting incompetent drivers control trucks

CCC probe sees 678 WA truck licences suspended
Commission says assessor targeted Punjabi immigrants

 

A staggering 678 WA licence holders had their licences suspended in part or in full following an investigation into truck driver licensing by the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) and the Department of Transport (DoT).

The CCC’s latest report, Report on Corruption in Respect of Truck Driving Licence Applications, uncovered corrupt behaviour at a former Neerabup truck driving school.

The DOT was in the process of cancelling 326 in July over the issue.

The activity in question took place at Mines West Driving School (Mines West), owned by then-approved assessor Previn Narayanan and contracted by DoT to conduct Practical Driving Assessments (PDA's) for heavy vehicles.

The investigation revealed that Mines West identified a niche in the WA licencing market and targeted Indian immigrants - particularly those from the Punjab region, even employing Punjabi-speaking staff to attract clients.

The CCC formed an opinion of serious misconduct in relation to Narayanan’s behaviour, in that he corruptly failed to conduct assessments - a critical function of his employment.

Corruption and Crime Commissioner John McKechnie QC emphasised the seriousness of the dangers associated with incompetent drivers when dealing with heavy vehicles.

"Driving a vehicle of any sort on a public road is a serious responsibility. A licence is an assessment of competence. When students are not properly assessed, there is an obvious danger that incompetent drivers are on the road.

"When such a driver is in charge of a heavy rigid or multiple combination vehicle, the danger is magnified."

New driving assessments were conducted for 370 of the suspended licence holders, and disturbingly 201 applicants, more than half, failed their reassessment.

The review is ongoing and it’s the CCC’s third report relating to the activities of vehicle or driver’s licence assessors in the past two years.

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