Coach operator used dangerous vehicle to transport kids

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A COACH operator is facing a two-year disqualification after he used a dangerous vehicle to transport schoolchildren in South Tyneside.

George Caris, trading as Caris Coaches, will also have his licence to operate buses and coaches revoked following a ruling by regional traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney.

The ruling, due to take effect from Monday, will ban Mr Caris, who runs six vehicles from Portland Street, Gateshead, from operating them for two years.

The findings follow a public inquiry in December at which the commissioner heard evidence that three vehicles operated by Mr Caris had been found by police to have no insurance while carrying pupils from a school in Felling, Gateshead.

Mr Rooney also heard that, in the week leading up to the public inquiry, a vehicle examiner had checked one of the operator’s vehicles at St Joseph’s RC Academy, Hebburn, and found defects, one of which was considered immediately dangerous.

Police were then called, and they found that the vehicle was not insured for carrying passengers and seized it.

Mr Rooney said: “This is an operator who deserves to be put out of business for the safety of his passengers and those on the roads around him.

“Mr Caris knew he had problems with insurance and should have been at pains to ensure that any solution he came up with provided cover.”

Making an order to revoke the licence, the commissioner also concluded that it was appropriate to disqualify him from operating commercial vehicles for two years.

He said: “Two years provides the right balance of sending a message of deterrence and keeping a non-compliant operator out of the system.”

He also disqualified Mr Caris from acting as a transport manager for any operator for an indefinite period.


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