DVSA gains power to fine on the spot for previous offences

 

The DVSA can issue fixed penalties for offences that took place in the previous 28 days, as of today (1 February).

The offences covered include drivers hours offences and any breaches to the weekly rest rules.

Examiners are able to issue on-the-spot fines of £300 for up to five drivers’ hours offences in the previous 28 day period. This means that any one driver could face a total fine of £1,500 for historical offences.

The potential fines will apply to both UK and foreign HGV drivers and will cover offences committed both at home and abroad.

Non-UK drivers must pay their fine before continuing their journey and will have their vehicle immobilised until they pay.

Previously a penalty could only be issued to foreign-registered HGVs if enforcement staff detected the offence on that day. Although the DVSA and the police have had the ability to prosecute historical drivers’ hours offences committed by UK drivers, it was - until now - a cumbersome procedure and unlikely in regards non-UK resident offenders since they are not obliged to respond to a court summons issued in the UK. 

The DVSA will also issue a £300 fine to drivers who spend their weekly rest in their cab in places where it causes an issue, such as a lay-by or residential area.

The agency said that spending weekly rests in their cab can contribute to drivers not taking a proper break and can expose them to poor living conditions.

In some areas residents have complained about noise, litter and anti-social behaviour.

DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn said that the tougher fines will help the agency to take firmer action against drivers who break the rules.

He said: “There is no excuse for driving while tired. The results of falling asleep at the wheel of a 40 tonne lorry can be devastating to families and communities. Any drivers breaking these rules are putting other road users at risk.”

The FTA welcomed the measure of taking action against non-UK HGV drivers who might have committed a string of offences in the days before a vehicle is stopped

Although the new powers come into force today, the DVSA will not begin actively enforcing them until March to allow time for a full 28 day liable period to build up.

DVSA reveals names of hauliers taking part in earned recognition pilot

DVSA

 

DVSA has published the names of the first operators taking part in its flagship earned recognition pilot, revealing a mix of large operators, own account and smaller haulage firms

While the likes of supermarket chain Sainsbury's, leasing and rental firm Fraikin, construction materials firm Cemex, wholesaler 3663 Transport, BT Fleet, Wincanton, DPD and retailer John Lewis are all part of the long-gestating pilot, it is not just the big firms.

A number of medium sized haulage operations feature including Bradford-based Freightlink Europe, which is licensed for up to 28 vehicles; Telford-based Simmonds Transport with an O-licence for up to 100 vehicles; waste management company F&R Cawley (more than 120 vehicles); Boston's Staples Bros, which is licensed for up to 80 vehicles; and Doncaster's JP Walton & Son, which can run up to 30 vehicles.

Coach and bus operators are taking part too, and collectively the pilot is running with the equivalent of 100 O-licences and 6,000 vehicles on board.

They will all regularly share performance information with DVSA at part of the earned recognition scheme. In return, their vehicles are less likely to be stopped for inspections. 

DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. 

“This pilot is allowing the best operators to go about their business unhindered, so we can target our activity at those most likely to be a danger to all road users. 

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us develop the pilot to the point where operators are starting to see the benefits.”

First announced in 2015, earned recognition has struggled to gain traction among operators wary of sharing their data with DVSA.

In September last year with several target dates already missed, DVSA called once again for operators to take part in its remodelled pilot conceding it was still struggling to sign enough operators up.

Soon after the FTA and RHA called for the requirements of earned recognition to strike a balance between challenging those in the pilot and being realistic.

CM understands changes to the scheme and its interaction with OCRS have now been made. An announcement on the scheme moving beyond trial phase is expected at this year's CV Show, which takes place at the NEC from 24 to 26 April.

DVSA is still accepting applications to join the pilot and those that apply by 28 February are promised extra support to get up and running.