Glasgow & West Scotland

Glasgow bin lorry crash: 'Shock' over no DVLA prosecutions

Harry Clarke and crashed bin lorry Image copyright Various
Image caption The inquiry has heard Mr Clarke was unconscious when the bin lorry crashed, killing six people

Families bereaved by the Glasgow bin lorry crash are said to be shocked that there appear to be no prosecutions of drivers over false health declarations.

The inquiry into the crash has heard the driver, Harry Clarke, lied to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency but will face no action.

A DVLA official told the hearing that to his knowledge there had been no prosecutions over false declarations.

A lawyer for one bereaved family said this had left them "extremely shocked".

The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) at Glasgow Sheriff Court has been examining Mr Clarke's health, the bin lorry and the route it took.

Health assessments

The FAI has previously heard that Mr Clarke blacked out at the wheel of a stationary bus in April 2010 while employed as a driver with First Bus.

It has also heard that he did not fully disclose this in applications for an LGV licence with the DVLA and on health assessments and a job application for Glasgow City Council.

A lawyer for the DVLA said he would not face prosecution over the alleged false declarations.

On Thursday, the inquiry heard from Dr Wyn Parry, chief medical adviser to the DVLA.

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Media captionDavid Wilson says the current system of driver declarations is 'open to abuse'

He also said that to his knowledge there had been no prosecutions over false declarations to the DVLA.

David WIlson, a solicitor acting for the family of Jacqueline Morton, one of six people who lost their lives in the crash, said it seemed ludicrous that there had been no cases taken to court.

"The families were extremely shocked to find out from the evidence of the chief medical officer that to his knowledge there had been no prosecutions for false declarations," he said.

"There must be hundreds of thousands of declarations given to the DVLA and it just seems impossible that there have not been clear instances of false declarations that require prosecution."

'Open to abuse'

Mr Wilson said such a self-declaration system was "open to abuse" and if no action was taken then you could not expect drivers to always comply when it might mean that they lose their jobs.

Drawing an analogy with the tax system, Mr Wilson said that if there were never any prosecutions for making false tax returns then that would adversely affect the tax yield and "not protect the public".

Earlier, the inquiry heard from Dr Nicholas Boon, 64, a consultant cardiologist who had examined Mr Clarke's medical records.

The medic said that Mr Clarke's medical records showed a "clear pattern" that he was "prone to episodes of dizziness or light-headedness".

Image caption (Clockwise from top left) Jack Sweeney, Lorraine Sweeney, Erin McQuade, Jacqueline Morton, Stephenie Tait and Gillian Ewing were killed in the crash

He told the inquiry that based on his medical history Mr Clarke had a "recurrent problem" with symptoms "typical of vasovagal (fainting) syndrome".

Six people died and 15 others were injured when the council bin lorry veered out of control on Queen Street on 22 December last year before crashing into the Millennium Hotel in George Square.

The inquiry continues.

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