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;

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.

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.

Consultation on Leeds Clean Air Zone

Leeds City Council has announced proposals to reduce air pollution that could see lorries, buses, taxis & private hire vehicles that do not meet the latest emissions standards could be charged upto £100 per day to enter Leeds city centre as early as October 2018.

To view the consultation; click here.

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.

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.