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.

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.

A Deep Dive on Smart Tachograph 3.0

With new ‘smart’ tachographs on the horizon; so called because new features, data manipulation prevention and additional data being stored, let’s take a look at what this will actually entail.

The Mandatory New Features

  • An ITS interface (Intelligent Transport Systems) – this allows sharing vehicle data or other data with other systems. For example, download systems, but other systems such as on-board computers and mobile apps too.
  • A GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System, or GPS + GLONASS). As it also has a GNSS module connected (a combination of GPS and GLONASS), the tachograph is a whole lot ‘smarter’ with location information and additional speed data. In addition, the location data must help to determine how much of their work time drivers have spent in a particular country. The latter helps to reduce unfair competition.
  • A DSRC interface (Dedicated Short Range Communication) – this module makes it possible for monitoring bodies to read out data at a (short) distance that helps to detect possible fraud. This interface serves purely as a selection tool to proceed with further inspection or not, and may not result in automatic fines. This was the intention in earlier legislative proposals, but various interest groups have objected against this. If no indications for fraud have been found, any data collected via DSCR shall be deleted after 3 hours. General road checks can still take place without this pre-selection.

Expected Benefits To Newer Units

  • Implementation of Annex 1 c 165/2014 – Please see this article for more details
  • New encryption method – This mean greater security for your digital data
  • Improved sealing – Meaning physical manipulation of the device or its’ data will be harder
  • Faster data downloads – Because who wants to spent 30-40 minutes downloading a Tacho-head
  • Faster card input and output – Reducing driver downtime
  • Improved display – making it easier to read under all conditions
  • Integrated GNSS (GPS + GLONASS) module for location awareness and secondary speed determination – So now your vehicles will know where they have been and for how long
  • DSCR module for wireless communication – Allowing for remote downloads and inspections
  • ITS interface for communication with other systems and applications – Greater interlinking between management, analysis and scheduling systems

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.