Foreign drivers to face lesser sanctions than UK drivers over Driver CPC non-compliance

Foreign truck drivers who do not comply with Driver CPC requirements when driving in the UK will effectively only ever face a £30 roadside penalty – though UK drivers in the same situation could face fines of up to £1,000 as well as possible action against their driving licence, Vosa and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) have confirmed.

Responding to queries by Commercialmotor.com, a spokesman for the enforcement agency admitted that while UK drivers who cannot produce a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) at the roadside will face a graduated fixed penalty (GFP) of £30, if a driver is found to be committing more than three offences, the matter may be reported to court, where a maximum penalty of £1,000 could be applied.

Repeat offending will also lead to traffic commissioners being informed, which a spokeswoman for the DSA said “could, for example, result in the suspension of the driver’s driving licence and/or their employer’s operators licence”.

Where the driver is from outside the UK, however, a Court Deposit equivalent to the £30 GFP will be taken at the roadside if drivers cannot produce the relevant DQC or driving licence, said the Vosa spokesman. In theory, foreign drivers would then face the same £1,000 maximum fine in court but the chances of them turning up are extremely slim. As the agency spokesman admitted: “If the offender does not turn up at court, then the court deposit is forfeited as the fine for the offence”.

Since neither foreign drivers nor foreign truck operators fall under the remit of the UK’s Traffic Commissioners, meanwhile, no action can be taken in the UK against their respective licences. There is, additionally, no scope for UK authorities to prevent such drivers or operators from returning to the UK or to bring any repeated non-compliance in the UK to the attention of regulatory bodies abroad, admits Vosa.

“The regulations do not contain any requirement for one member state to notify another member state of the offending of its members. It is incumbent upon individual member states to ensure that their drivers are fully compliant,” confirmed the spokesman.

Vosa does hope to develop some kind of system for reporting such drivers and operators to foreign licensing authorities but “there are no current plans to introduce such a system”, he admitted.

  • The graduated fixed penalty and court deposit have both been increased to £50 since this article was orginally published.

Over 4,700 restricted O-licences issued in Northern Ireland in the past year

More than 4,700 restricted operating licences were issued in Northern Ireland in the year to 31 March, after the introduction of new operator licensing rules there in July 2012.New statistics just published by the Department for Regional Development show 4,724 restricted licences were issued during the year, alongside 394 national and 1,453 international O-licences.

LGV involvement in fatal road accidents crept up last year

LGVs accounted for 10.2% of vehicles involved in fatal road accidents in 2012, up from 8.4% the previous year, new statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) have shown.Figures on reported road casualties during 2012 show that out of 2,850 vehicles involved in fatalities in Great Britain last year, 292 were LGVs.

Commercial Motor 26 September issue - on sale now!

This week’s Commercial Motor is guest-edited by Richard Fry – the deputy MD of Frampton’s Transport Services and former chairman of the Road Haulage Association – and he brings years of experience in the business to another bumper issue!We take a look at issues close to Fry’s heart – including:

A14 toll is a tax on Suffolk hauliers says trade body

Plans to charge hauliers up to £3 for using the A14 amount to a “toll tax”, leaving the region’s haulage operators at a competitive disadvantage, according to business leaders.The warning from Suffolk Chambers of Commerce came as it launched a campaign against the plans to construct a toll road in Cambridgeshire.

Hammersmith flyover project will complete in 2015

The final phase of maintenance work on the Hammersmith flyover in London is scheduled to begin next month (October) with completion due in early 2015.The maintenance project, which began in late 2011, has involved strengthening the flyover’s 16 spans, replacing the bearings carrying the structure, renewing carriageway drainage, and waterproofing and resurfacing the entire structure.

Variable speed limits set for M4

Variable mandatory speed limits may start operating between J19 and J20 of the M4 near Bristol as early as Thursday (26 September) as part of the delivery of the managed motorway upgrade scheme, the Highways Agency has confirmed.The agency plans to open the hard shoulder on the M4 on a trial basis only in coming weeks, before making it fully operational later in the year after the testing and commissioning phase.