Transport Lawyer firm Backhouse Jones calls for Clear Drivers’ Hours

In a recent interview, Transport Lawyer James Backhouse claims that by failing to provide clear and regularly updated guideline for dealing with Drivers’ Hours offences; Enforcement Authorities may be “…breaching government guidelines…”

To read the full article; follow this link.

With the deadline for Drivers’ CPC renewals less than a year away, why not look at booking your drivers on to one of our regularly scheduled courses? – why not “Driver Responsibilities, Tachographs, RTD and the Law” module?

Further FORS Briefings to Roll Out Nationwide

Following the previous batch held in May & June 2018; FORS is hosting a new series of briefings at key locations across the UK, designed to update its members on a wide number of issues such as Version 5 of the FORS Standards.

Although dates have not yet been confirmed on the FORS website (as of the publication of this post), some sources have the following dates and locations as strong possibilities.

  • Birmingham – 5 November
  • Bristol – 6 November
  • London – 7 November
  • Newcastle – 19 November
  • Edinburgh – 20 November
  • Crumlin –  22 November

With FORS increasing it’s scrutiny and standards for members, it is strongly advisable to attend on of these briefings if possible. To contact FORS, send an email to enquiries@fors-online.org.uk.

Traffic Commissioners’ Annual Report – A Promise to become Faster, Better & Tougher

On 2nd August 2018, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner released their annual report for 2017/18. In it, they outline improves the industry has seen over the period; including reduced waiting times for license applications, harsher punishments for operators who operate dangerous/under maintained vehicles, as well as issuing a promise to reduce the time it takes offenders to be caught & prosecuted.

 

You can find the year published here; as well as a blog post on the Gov.uk website going over points/details of interest, including personal statements from a number of the Traffic Commissioners themselves.

Drivers’ CPC Deadline – Are You On Target?

With most Drivers’ having completed their initial Drivers’ CPC 5-year course in September 2014 or before; we are fast approaching the deadline for the latest round to be completed.

Unfortunately, most operators are taking the stance that they have ‘over a year’ to complete these courses. However, if this trend continues operators may find themselves short on time with little to no option as to when or where they complete their courses; which could lead to price-gouging or worse, failing to complete the required hours resulting in the lose of your drivers’ ability to work ‘for hire and reward’.

If you are looking for Jaupt approved courses, we at TMC Assist have regularly planned courses covering a variety of subjects; including Tachograph & Hours’ Laws, Hazard Perception and even First Aid.

Contact us today for more information on future courses.

DVSA Reveal New Aids for Roadside Checks

In their latest blog post; the DVSA reveals the latest tools their agents now have access to when carrying out roadside checks.

With direct access to such information as an operators OCRS score, test history, ANPR records and road levy systems; the chances that anything will escape their notice has gone significantly down. Further plans will include Driver License data held by the DVLA as well as vehicle insurance information

Don’t be caught out;

HSE states ‘Drivers Must Have Proper Facilities’

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has confirmed that all drivers must be given access to toilets during their working day, following ardent campaigning from both the RHA and Truckers Toilets UK; as well as a re-examination of the workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare) regulations 1992 – specifically Regs 20 & 21. This is in addition to paragraph 127 of the HSE guide to workplace transport safety; which state that loading & unloading areas must have easy & safe access to toilets, washing facilities and refreshments.

HSE guidance now states that drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their daily activy.

As well as having implications on employment laws, customers & clients may also be required to provide toilet facilities for drivers; possibly leading to this becoming a contractual provision in commercial agreements.

New Financial Standings in 2018

With the latest changes to funds required for both a standard national & standard international licence holders will increase by £100 for the 1st vehicle to £7950 and £50 for each additional vehicles to $4400.

There is no change to the level of funds that must be available to a restricted licence holder or applicant.

An End to Exemptions

Certain heavy vehicles based on an HGV chassis will no longer be exempt from plating and testing. These will include the following: mobile cranes, breakdown vehicles, engineering plant, asphalt trailers, tower wagons, road construction vehicles (barring road rollers), electric trucks under 3-years old, heavy goods vehicles & trailers on some Scottish islands, volumetric concrete mixers, fast tractors & all types of trailers.

Such vehicles will need either a valid Goods Vehicle Resting Certificate from 20th May 2018, or such a certificate at the time of the unit’s vehicle excise duty (VED) renewal date after 19th May 2018.

Network Rail figures show 2000 bridges getting hit every year

In new figures released by National Rail, nearly 2000 bridges each year are being struck by a HGV vehicle. If you follow the figures, this comes out to 5-crashes a day, and gives total damages exceeding £12.7m each year.

As a means to combat this worrying trend; Stuart Hill, CEO at Pie, outlined two key area’s your can address:

  1. Educate the drivers: 43 per cent of drivers admitted to not knowing the size of their vehicle. If you pair this with the fact that 52 per cent of lorry drivers admitted to not taking low bridge routes into account when planning their journeys, it’s clear we need to educate drivers and route planners rather than relying on quick fixes like warning signs or lights.
  2. Invest in planning and tracking technology: This ensures nothing is left to chance. There are cost effective options on the market which can be downloaded straight to a driver’s phone, such as LLRA (powered by Pie), which takes into account low bridges, right-turn-only navigation, parking restrictions, as well as being 100 per cent compliant with the London Lorry Control Scheme.