‘No Deal Brexit’ is No-Good for the Industry

With the possibility of a ‘No-Deal’ Brexit looming large, a number of operators have built up expectations that certain parts of our relationship with the EU will disappear or change when it occurs.

But in truth, very little will change – The Driver CPC will go nowhere.

Our supply chain and logistic will still rely quite heavily on Europe.

And there are concerns that Kent may become nothing more than a glorified car park.

Do not let this major change in our system go past un-noticed in your current and future business plans. Stay informed, stay involved.

Learners on the Motorways

As of 4th June 2018, learner drivers have now been able to take part of their lessons on motorways.

This step has obviously been taken to try and increase driver efficiency and skill across the board; but as professional drivers it pays to be in the know concern this change and how it will effect you. Follow this link, to view the DVSA’s own blog post on the matter.

Dangerous Driving Carry Harsher Sentences

The maximum sentence for both the offences of causing death by dangerous driving & causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs will shortly be increased to include life imprisonment; following a government consultation.

In addition, a new offence of causing serious injury through careless driving; which will be punishable by imprisonment, will be introduced.

The maximum sentence for causing death by racing, speeding or using a mobile phone will be increased to life imprisonment.

These changes are being introduced following figures from 2016, with 157 people being sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving & 32 for causing death by careless driving wile under the influence of drink or drugs.

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.

New Smart Tachographs Fast Approach

With the introduction of Annex 1C (EU 2016/799), we will see the next generation of ‘smart’ tachograph units being installed in all new vehicles starting 15th June 2019. And with it, we have another change-up of the legislation.

This has far-reaching effects on all levels of the industry; so see if and how you will be affected, follow this link to read up on all the approaching changes.

Do not leave these changes unanswered till next year. Get informed and be ready. If you have any questions related to this article or the legislation; contact our offices for help and assistance.

The Crackdown on AdBlue Cheating Devices Yields Results

As we mentioned in a previous news post; both the DVSA and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner have been enacting a crackdown on vehicles and operators found to be using AdBlue cheating devices.

Recently released figures show that between August 2017 & February 2018, nearly 400 trucks where found to have such a device installed; with the breakdown showing that that UK-registered vehicles are more likely than foreign-registered vehicles to have the devices installed. Of 4339 UK-Registered vehicles checked, 261 were found to have a cheat device installed; compared to 127 across 5898 foreign-registered vehicles checked.

These vehicles were discovered through a combination of submitted intelligence concerning given operators and vehicles; as well as mechanical & visual management system checks. However, the DVSA have gone on record as saying that means to measure excess nitrogen oxide or dioxide & other such emissions as part of roadside stops are ‘being explored’.

The discovery of such devices have lead to harsh punishments; with Bolton-based Warne Transport, Gloucestershire-based KSL & Rapid Response based in Stoke-on-Trent all having their operators’ licenses revoked. Meanwhile Mactrans based in Weston-Super-Mare has been disqualified from holding an operators’ license for 12 months.

TC’s across the country have grown impatient with operators who claim ignorance of emulators; even those claiming the devices were already fitted when they bought a vehicle. In his written decision on the Rapid Response public inquiry Nick Denton; the TC for the West Midlands stated: “The need for AdBlue should have been self-evident to anyone who understood the business of operating HGVs and who had kept up even a marginal acquaintance with the trade press over the last few years.” Other TC’s have compared their use to “using a magnet to interrupt accurate tachograph recording”.

Once again, we strongly advice operators to ensure that no vehicle in their fleet; knowing or unknowingly, has such a device installed. Should you discover such a device, document it’s discovery, removal and suitable reprimands to staff involved in it’s installation and/or use.

Released Figures show 5.3% of Driver’s were Breaching Hours’ Laws

In 2016/17 DVSA made nearly 90,000 checks to ensure that commercial drivers weren’t driving for longer than allowed, risking fatigue-related accidents. The outcome is that more than 1 in 20 (5.3%) of drivers had broken the rules on maximum driving hours. British drivers are also slightly more law abiding than foreigners, with 5.1% of British drivers flouting the rules against 5.9% of their foreign counterparts.

It’s worth noting that the figures has fallen since 2015/16, when the overall offending rate was 7.3%.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have gone on record saying that “driving while tired may be responsible for 1 in 5 of all accidents, as well as up to a quarter of serious and fatal crashes on Britain’s roads.” According to THINK!, almost half of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles, and almost a quarter of injuries from accidents involving lorries are fatal or serious, compared to 1 in 8 of all crashes.

As of March 5th, the DVSA has been issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) of £300; not just for drivers’ hours offences committed on the day that drivers are checked, but for up to 5 offences committed over the preceding 28 days.

Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani announces Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme

On 28th March 2018, Transport Minister Nusrat Ghani announced a new Ultra-Low Emission Bus Scheme aimed at cutting emissions and ensuring cleaner and greener journeys.

Local authorities and operators in England and Wales will be able to bid for a share of a £48 million fund; setup to help fund new ultra-low emission buses as well as the infrastructure to support them.

For more information, check out the full article on the Gov.uk website here.

A Clampdown on AdBlue Cheats

In a new push against the use of emulators; devices designed to bypass or disable the AdBlue systems installed on a vehicle, both the DVSA and the office of the Traffic Commissioner have said they will take a ‘Dim View’ of any operator whose vehicles are found to have the devices installed.

In a recent incident, the presence of such a device was the grounds for the revocation of an operators’ license and the office of the Traffic Commissioner have warned that their use will be treated in the same vein as the fitting of magnets to alter/falsify digital tachograph records.

Moving forward, the DVSA will be using the discovery of any such device on one vehicle as grounds to carry out a full inspection of an operators’ entire fleet; including maintenance systems and emissions testing. In point of fact, the use of such a device will now result in an S-marked prohibition; the issuing of which can lead to prosecution of the driver and/or the operator themselves.

We strongly advice all operators to carry out a full and immediate review of their fleet as soon as possible. Cataloguing and documenting the removal of any such devices found; as well as my disciplinary actions taken against the offending member(s) or staff could be vital in the face of any future enforcement action carried out against the operator.

Simplifying the GDPR

As of May 2018, the new regulation of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) comes into effect.

The general conceit behind the latest version of the regulation, is to simplify the assorted collection of legislation which presently covers all data protection under a single legal framework.

Failure to comply with the latest change can result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of their annual global turnover.

For more information, please visit the Information Commissioner’s Office website or follow this link.