DVSA set out new measures to tackle fatigue among commercial drivers

12.00 | 18 September 2017 | | 3 comments

Image: DVSA

DVSA traffic examiners are to be given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines to lorry, bus or coach drivers who drive tired.

Announced on Friday (15 Sept), DVSA traffic examiners will now also be able to give fines for any ‘drivers’ hours offences’ committed in the previous 28 days. Under current law, examiners are ‘virtually powerless’ to take action for offences committed other than on the day the vehicle is stopped.

Examiners will be able to issue fines for up to five drivers’ hours offences – meaning a driver could be fined up to £1,500 in a single check.

Lorry, bus and coach drivers will also be fined if they fail to take a 45-hour rest break at least every fortnight.

Under existing laws, the DVSA can only fine drivers up to £300 for offences committed that day, and for ongoing offences such as manipulating tachograph records.

The new rules will also apply to drivers who don’t live in Great Britain, and also British drivers when they are driving abroad.

Between April 2015 and March 2016, 6,300 drivers’ hours fines were given to lorry drivers by the DVSA.

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, said: “These tougher fines will help us to take stronger action against any drivers or operators who break drivers’ hours rules and will help make our roads safer.

“There’s no excuse for driving while tired. The results of falling asleep at the wheel of 40 tonne lorry can be devastating to families and communities.

“Any drivers breaking these rules is putting other road users at risk and could face losing their licence and livelihood.”

James Firth, the Freight Transport Association’s head of licensing policy and compliance information, said: “For some years, DVSA officers have been virtually powerless to take effective action against non-UK HGV drivers who may have committed a string of offences in the days and weeks before the vehicle is stopped.

“These new powers mean the enforcement authorities will be more able – and more likely – to take action against all drivers who are found to have repeatedly flouted these critical road safety laws.”

Want to know more about driver fatigue and road safety?
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory

Category: Driver tiredness.



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    In respons to M.Reeves. I refer to two previous items on this website. One was two years ago that the Haulage Ass. requested, for the sake of road safety an increase in the speeds that HGV delivery vehicles do. An increase of some 10 mph. They got that request. Now that in my estimation allows at least a further 80 miles to be travelled in an 8 hour time period. However if that period is, as you now tell me, for 11 hours then a driver can basically drive some 100 more miles within that 1l hour period. Now try and tell me that that is not more mileage and more work for a single driver as that means more mileage and more deliveries all within the same time period.

    Now add to that, last year having got greater speeds and therefore an incresae of daily mileage for their HGVs the Haulage Association lobbied sucessfully for an increase in carrying weight of their HGVs. Increasing the weight by some 15% or one about one sixth of carrying weight.

    Now after 2 years a single driver would be required to drive about 100 more miles and carry an increase in load of approximately one sixth more. All this fortunately without any changes in the laws relating to HGV driving hours and work commitment. Not bad that. Pity the driver though who now has a larger load to deliver, over greater distances and all legal. Now I don’t see how that makes their drivers lives easier or less tiring and of making our roads safer which was the main part of the argument the Haulage Ass.used in order to persuade the DfT in both matters.

    Thats where I get my information from. Tell me I am wrong or mistaken. I would like to hear from you.

    m.worthington Manchester
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Would be interested to know where M Worthington gets this information from! Drivers hours regs have not changed since 2006 and modern trucks are much easier to drive than the old ones used to be. Break and rest requirements are rigorously enforced so drivers should not be more tired unless they are breaking the laws. Double manning means they could work a 21 hour day and that has to be worse than single drivers 13 hours max, 11 off in 24 is the rule! Anybody can break the law but few are forced to do so.

    M Reeves, Derbyshire
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    With the increased work that a driver now undergoes with extra mileage and now increased loads, isn’t it about time he got some help as he is doing some 15/20% more work than he was required to do a few years ago. Perhaps it’s time to put two drivers together and then they could share the workload and driving and the heavy and tiring work.

    m.worthington Manchester
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