Approximately 300,000 drivers have completed Driver CPC periodic training

Almost 300,000 professional drivers have now completed their Driver CPC periodic training, the latest Driving Standards Agency (DSA) data shows.

Data for November shows 291,421 professional drivers (PCV and LGV) have completed the mandatory 35-hours of periodic training and triggered their Driver Qualification Cards, ahead of the September 2014 deadline. This compares with 273,897 in October.

It means that as of November 689,664 drivers were engaged in the CPC periodic training process (compared with 680,175 in October), having undertaken at least one seven-hour session of training.

Based on DSA’s own estimate it means as many as 60,336 professional drivers are yet to start their periodic training, although this is a worse case scenario.

November’s Driver CPC figures (breakdown of hours completed by drivers)

7 hours – 92,174
7.5 to 14 hours – 78,560
14.5 to 21 hours – 90,905
21.5 to 28 hours – 130,580
28.5 to 35 hours – 264,151
(More than 35 hours 33,294)

Operator's O-licence cut after fatal crash

Traffic commissioner for Scotland Joan Aitken (pictured) has temporarily curtailed the O-licence of William Whyte Cargo Handlers following an accident in Aberdeenshire in which a mother and her two daughters died.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) and driver conduct hearing in Aberdeen in April and June, the TC curtailed the licence of the Ellon-based firm from four vehicles to two for three months from 20 December 2013.

In January 2008, Ann Copeland, 45, and her daughters, Niamh, 10, and Ciara, 7, died after their car skidded on hydraulic or lubricating oil on the A92 between Stonehaven and Montrose.

Last year, a fatal accident inquiry found that, on the balance of probabilities, the oil was deposited by a mobile crane driven by a driver at William Whyte Cargo Handlers. The presiding sheriff said the accident could have been avoided if the mobile crane had been properly maintained.

Aitken held the PI following the fatal accident inquiry and a subsequent probe by Vosa. The Vosa investigation found that many of the alleged problems stemmed from the trucking side of the business, which operates alongside the cranes.

Aitken questioned the company’s managers on various issues including drivers’ hours, tachograph offences and unauthorised use of an operating centre. There were sub-standard practices in vehicle defect reporting, roadworthiness checks, and record keeping. The TC said the firm had put road safety at risk by prioritising crane maintenance and business expansion over vehicle safety.

She added: “In the midst of successful development of a highly specialised service to the oil and wind farm industries, some basics were forgotten and lost sight of. “Such was the concentration on the cranes that the transport side was marginalised. I consider that this operator has fallen short of the standards expected.”

The firm’s transport manager, Douglas Reid, claimed he had been unable to fulfil his management duties because up to 85% of his time was taken up with his health and safety role at the firm. Aitken warned him about his repute and professional competence.

“Sufficient personnel were not deployed in the transport or other functions, leaving Mr Reid too thinly spread to do the transport side properly,” she said. “In respect of Mr Reid, he fully acknowledged that he had fallen down on his responsibilities. “I do not find against his repute and professional competence - I am satisfied that to do so would be disproportionate, but I warn him that he must never ever get into the position again whereby he is too stretched to do a safety-critical role such as that of transport manager.”

The TC decided to take no action against two of the company’s drivers.