The LGV licence is the most valuable tool in the professional truck driver’s armoury.
Wthout it he or she cannot make a living and for that reason it must be kept as unblemished as possible.
However, no one can legislate for illness, which can strike at any time.
The licence holder must inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if they have any disability, physical or mental, which may affect their fitness as a driver, unless it is not expected to last for more than three months.
They must also tell the DVLA if an existing illness worsens.
The DVLA website lists around 170 conditions for which they may require notification and these are as wide ranging as agoraphobia, blood clots, kidney disease and vertigo.
Conditions which must be notified include epilepsy, strokes, alcohol abuse and mental health problems, and these apply to all drivers.
DVLA aim to make a decision on a licence within three weeks once an illness is reported.
It could take up to 90 days if they need to contact the driver’s doctor, arrange a medical examination, driving assessment, driving test or eye test.
If the licence is removed for health reasons, the DVLA will state how long the driver must wait before getting a new licence.
They can reapply eight weeks before this period ends but should ask their doctor if they meet the required medical standards.
Patric Cunnane will discuss the issue in more detail in the 21 February issue of Commercial Motor.
Two Northern Ireland hauliers fined for drivers' hours offences
One of Northern Ireland's best-known haulage firms McCulla (Ireland) has been fined £200 in relation to drivers' hours offences.
In a prosecution brought by the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) at Omagh Magistrates’ Court , the Lisburn, Co Antrim-based company was fined £100 each for two daily rest offences.
In June 2012 DVA enforcement officers stopped an articulated truck on the Great Northern Road in Omagh to conduct a compliance spot check.
Officers asked the driver of the vehicle to produce tachograph driving records and when they examined these, they discovered two infringements relating to daily rest periods.
The charges were brought under the Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) Regulations (NI) 1996 and the Road Traffic (NI) Order 1981.
Meanwhile, in a case at Dungannon Magistrates’ Court, Total Freight, based in Clontycarty Lane, Tynan, Co Armagh, was fined £2,500 for failing to produce tachograph and drivers’ hours records.
DVA enforcement officers conducted an investigation into twenty vehicles being operated by the haulier.
During the course of the probe, officials sent several letters to the company requesting that tachograph records be handed over for analysis -however no records were produced.
A company representative failed to be formally interviewed about the matter which resulted in the case being prepared for consideration by the Public Prosecution Service.
Total Freight was convicted on one specimen charge under the Passenger and Goods Vehicles (Recording Equipment) Regulations (NI) 1996 and the Road Traffic (NI) Order 1981 of failing to produce tachograph records relating to the twenty vehicles.