Drivers must carry their Driver Qualification Cards, warns DVSA

DVSA has reminded hauliers that with the passing of the Driver CPC deadline today (10 September), all professionals must carry their Driver Qualification Card (DQC) with them or face a fine at the roadside.

As a temporary pressure, DVSA is taking a “pragmatic” approach to DQCs, at least for the next few days, in recognition that drivers may have completed their Driver CPC training but not received their card yet. This may be more likely over the next few days, as training centres have been granted a temporary extension to the usual 5-day deadline they work within to upload training in recognition of how busy this week will have been.

In these specific cases, DVSA officers will check directly with the agency that the driver has indeed completed their mandatory 35 hours of periodic training. Drivers can also check their recorded hours online.

A DVSA spokesman reiterated: “We are taking a pragmatic approach to ensure that drivers who have completed their training before the deadline will not be penalised. Drivers who have not completed their CPC training will be issued with a £50 fixed penalty.

“Repeat offenders will be prosecuted and face a fine of up to £1000, as well as being reported to the traffic commissioner along with their employer.”

Under the scope of the Driver CPC, traffic commissioners may take disciplinary action against not just the driver, but the O-licence holder that employs them too.

DVSA recently announced changes to the ID requirements in regards Driver CPC training. It has also revealed that 664,000 professional drivers (LGV and PCV) completed the Driver CPC by the deadline.

CM revealed today that, to date, Driver CPC has generated more than £40m in revenue.

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Transport manager disqualified indefinitely

South East traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton (pictured) has disqualified indefinitely a transport manager who demonstrated a near total failure to carry out her duties.

At a PI held in Eastbourne in June, the TC was told that Tina Domeney had lent her name to a licence held by Michael Barrett of Rainham-based Barrett Transport and failed to tackle “very serious and repeated” infringements.

In a written decision, Denton said Domeney’s role as transport manager for Barrett - an operator working as a sub-contractor to her main employer Tuffnells Parcels - was “an unwise arrangement which posed a potential conflict of interest”.

The TC was told about various problems at Barrett Transport:
. analysis of drivers’ hours and tachograph data showed critical drivers’ hours and working time offences;
. drivers were regularly driving for five to six hours without a qualifying break;
. licence holder Michael Barrett drove for eight hours and seven minutes without a qualifying break and in 31 days of driving recorded 31 infringements;
. one driver employed by the operator recorded 102 infringements between 6 January and 4 April 2014;
. safety inspection records revealed driver detectable defects when previous driver defect reports had recorded no defects;
. undertakings at a previous PI concerning audits and roller brake testing had not been met consistently.

Domeney admitted she did not see any PMI records and had left maintenance and drivers’ hours matters to Barrett.

She was paid £100 a week by Barrett for 15 hours of work, but the TC observed this was only just above the minimum wage, which he said “seemed inappropriate for a professionally qualified transport manager”.

Barrett told the TC he had sacked a number of the least compliant drivers.

He said that if the drops - sometimes as many as 100 a day per vehicle - were not made, Tuffnells not only billed him for carrying out the work in their own vehicle but fined him as well.

Barrett thought the undertaking on audits had been waived by the TC’s office and had not appreciated the difference between a decelerometer and a roller brake test.

Records showed the undertaking to have roller brake tests carried out had not been met in 2014. Barrett offered to employ an additional transport manager and take an O-licence course and said he was no longer driving HGVs.

However, the TC revoked the licence and also refused an application by Michael Barrett and Linda Barrett
for a licence in the London and South East region, which arose from a change of entity.

The operator appealed to the Upper Tribunal against Denton’s decision but has since withdrawn the appeal.

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.This article first appeared in the 21 August edition of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe?