RHA issues a checklist ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU

The agreed transition period for the UK leaving Europe is to end on 31st December 2020 @ 23:00 (GMT). After this, many new systems and procedures will go into place for any and all haulage entering/exiting the UK into the EU.

To help operators prepare for this, the RHA has issued a checklist which outlines steps you must take NOW and those you can sort out later down the line. Obviously this information may change, and these cannot cover all aspects that are to come with this monumental change to how we operate a border between the UK and The EU, but it is a strong foundation to get yourself prepared from.

This checklist can be read here.


DVSA releases further guidance regarding Tachograph Calibrations

As the Covid-19 Pandemic continues to grip the nation and stunt the activities of many businesses; the DVSA has released further guidance in relation to inspections and initial calibrations for tachograph equipment.

In short, an extension of 3-months is now in effect. To read the full details, please follow this link.

Are you using old tyres? Soon this could become an offence

The Government has outlined plans to make it an offence to use tyres of 10-years or older on certain vehicles – including HGV’s over 3.5 tonnes, Coaches, Buses & Minibuses; as well as trailers and semi-trailers.

The website ukhailer.co.uk has a fully written article that we at TMC Assist would recommend you take a read of. It can be found here.


Changes to the OCRS Score System

If you are interested in joining the Earned Recognition Scheme; please follow this link.

From 24 April 2018 the new Earned Recognition Scheme came into effect, adding a Blue category to the risk scores.

If you run transport in your business and you run under an operator licence, regardless of what type of licence you hold,I.E.; restricted, standard national international, you will fall into one of the categories below OCRS (Operator Compliance Risk Scores):

  • Grey – New Operators /  No Events in Last 3 Years
  • Red – A Non-Complaint Operator (R: 26+, T: 31+, C: 26+)
  • Amber – Compliant Issues Operator (R:11-25, T: 6-30, C: 11-25)
  • Green – Complaint Operator (R: 10 or less, T: 5 or less, C: 10 or less)
  • Blue – An Operator on the Earned Recognition Scheme; Meaning your vehicles are less likely to be pulled over/inspected by the roadside.

R: Roadworthiness; T: Traffic Enforcement; C: Combined Score

Yours score is calculated as follows:

(Year 1 points) + 0.75(Year 2 Points) + 0.5(Year 3 Points); all divided by the total number of events over the three year period.

The New Earned Recognition Scheme is available to operators who meet a certain set of criteria and is based on sharing tachograph and maintenance data with the DVSA,  you will also need to have a DVSA-validated IT system for vehicle maintenance and drivers’ hours, this will monitor whether you’re meeting a set of key performance indicators (KPIs). The new earned recognition scheme is based on rewarding operators who are serious about road safety and if you can meet the criteria you will be accepted on to the scheme and achieve a Blue status.

Knowing your OCRS score is important; the closer your score is to Red, the more likely your vehicles are to be stopped at the side of the road.

FTA calls on the DVSA to review DCPC in light of EU-Mandated Changes

In view of the EU-Mandated changes, that are required to become domestic law within the next two years; The Frieght Transport Association (FTA) has called upon the DVSA to review the delivery of Driver CPC (DCPC).

With Brexit fast approaching, the government have laid out that all European Law in operation by 23rd March 2019 will be adopted into domestic legislation. They have also given no indication that the DCPC will be scrapped after Brexit.

In their call to action, the FTA suggest the DVSA take a look into “all elements of the qualification & methods of implementation to ensure that they are fit for purpose.” This follows a previous call to action by the FTA in 2013; which was put off until “..the expected review of the EU Directive.”

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