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.

A Reduction in Exemptions

In a recent update to vehicle exemptions based upon HGV chassis, a significant number of vehicles are no longer exempt from plating and testing. These include:

  • Mobile Cranes
  • Breakdown Vehicles
  • Engineering Plant
  • Asphalt trailers
  • Tower Wagons
  • Road Construction Vehicles (Not including Road Rollers)
  • Electric Trucks (aged 3 years or less)
  • Volumetric Concrete Mixers
  • Fast Tractors
  • All Trailer Types

Any such vehicle will need either a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate as of 20th May 2018; or such a certificate at the time of the vehicle’s exercise duty (VED) renewal date after 19th May 2018.

Updates to Brake Performance Testing

In a recent warning issued by the Office of The Traffic Commissioner and the DVSA; both bodies have warned that operators need to change and improve their approach to brake performance testing.

As outlined in the recent edition of the DVSA’s ‘Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness‘, it is clearly stated that a metered assessment of both vehicle and trailer performance is required during each safety inspection.

The guide further outlines that in order to measure the individual brake performance and overall brake efficiencies, that a calibrated roller brake tester should be used. However, concessions are made for vehicles without a trailer to have their overall brake efficiencies to be tested by an approved and calibrated roller brake test.

The guide outlines the best practice of using a vehicle or trailer in a laden state, in order to achieve the most meaningful and accurate results.

Furthermore, it goes on to state that if these tests cannot be carried out during a safety inspection; then the vehicle’s braking performance must be checked using a road test. Such tests would need to be carried out under safe, controlled conditions; the safety inspection sheet would also need to clearly state that a road test was used.

Fitness to drive legal update

On the 1st January 2018 DVLA released an update ‘Assessing Fitness to Drive: A Guide for Medical Professionals’.

This guide covers changes on advice given on insulin-treated diabetes, neurological disorders, cardio-vascular disorders, diabetes mellitus and visual disorders.

For more information; please see the following links:
Information for Medical Professionals
Information for Non-Specialists.

The cost of compliance and cleaner city air

What might we expect in the wake of last month’s High Court ruling, which found against the government’s current clean air strategy? The legally binding outcome, which is not being appealed, compels ministers to come up with a new plan to radically reduce NOx pollution. And fast. But planning is one thing: delivering it equitably, even painlessly, is quite another.

There’s more. The FTA (Freight Transport Association) and others were concerned that DEFRA’s (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) now discredited clean air strategy already went too far. Their concern: in the absence of adequate, sensibly priced CAZ (clean air zone) compliant Euro 6 vehicles – especially vans – many fleet operators would simply be forced out of their markets.
Now, however, campaign group ClientEarth and the court are likely to force DEFRA to concede twice, even three times the number of CAZs previously proposed. And it would be no surprise to see the due-date brought forward to 2018, instead of 2019 or 2020. If both turn out to be the case (and there are few alternatives to appeasing the judiciary and the populace), the future looks anything but festive.
Something has to give. And that something surely ought to be ministers’ resistance to putting their hands in their pockets. Yes, that means taxpayers’ money. But, given that most fleet operators are hardly flush with cash to accelerate vehicle renewal cycles, how else might they rise to this challenge which inevitably affects us all?

As we go to press, ministers are silent. But nothing short of a national scrappage scheme for, say, pre-Euro 3 trucks, buses, vans – and cars – will cut the mustard. That and serious incentives to encourage uptake of alternative transport fuels, such as gas, dual-fuel diesel and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), hybrids and full electrics.

Brian Tinhman

Transport Engineer Publication

Dead Angle Mirror

EU Directive 2007/38/EC relates to the retrofitting of mirrors to heavy goods vehicles registered in the European Union and requires vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be retrofitted with proper devices in order to improve the driver’s field of vision and increase vehicle safety.
The new directive applies to all commercial vehicles above 3.5t registered after Jan 1st 2000.
Read more “Dead Angle Mirror”

6 tips to avoid expensive legal advice

If you need legal advice for your business or personal matters, hiring quality and professional lawyers may cost you lot of money. But, it is always advisable to opt for quality legal services. here are some tips that will help you to avoid high cost of legal advice. If you belong to the low-income group, you can make use of large network of legal aid programs that operates on federal agents. You can use these programs and get free legal advice for your problem.

Read more “6 tips to avoid expensive legal advice”