Operators that allow a driver who fails to produce a Driver CPC card following a roadside check to continue with a job risk causing an offence and even triggering an investigation into the company, says Vosa.
Once the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence becomes mandatory on 10 September 2009, it will be the responsibility of the operator to ensure a driver is not only carrying the correct documnetation, but also the Driver CPC.
Ian Bacon, senior policy engineer for strategy and performance, at Vosa, told delegates at the Driver CPC Conference, powered by CM: "It is an offence to fail to produce the card to a Vosa examiner. We will prosecute you with no leniency, and we will probably trigger an investigation into the company as well. We will expect operators to ensure that the driver is carrying his card."
If a card is lost or stolen, the driver has a month to report it missing to the DVLA, but only if it happens in the UK. There is a two-year prison sentence for providing a false record of a Driver CPC.
A driver with an HGV licence has five years between 10 September 2009 and 10 September 2014 to complete the 35 hours' training required to gain the Driver CPC. Existing drivers will be deemed to hold Driver CPC by acquired rights for five years but must complete their training by 2014.
Peter Boswell, executive committee member of the United Road Transport Union, says a lot of drivers "do not know the effect" the introduction of the Driver CPC would have.
"How many documents will drivers have to carry? They have their drivers' licence, a digital tachograph card and now they have to carry a Driver CPC card. And training for 35 hours is a week's earnings lost. A lot of drivers would rather retire than go back to school."
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