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DVSA Crackdown on Historic Drivers’ Hours Offences – Changes to Enforcement Powers

On 5th March the DVSA’s traffic examiners will start fining lorry drivers for drivers’ hours offences committed up to 28 days previously.

As things stand, officers can only issue fines of up to £300 to drivers for offences committed that day or for ongoing offences, such as manipulating tachograph records.

But the rules are being shaken up so that on-the-spot fines can be dished out for historic offences too, no matter where they were committed.

In a single roadside check, the DVSA will be able to issued fines for up to five drivers’ hours offences, meaning a possible total bill of £1,500.

Non-UK drivers will also become liable for these fines, although they’ll have to cough up immediately, before being allowed to continue their journey.

Fines will also be levied for taking improper rest, so any HGV driver who hasn’t taken a 45-hour break at least every fortnight will be made to pay up.

Controversially, this also includes if the rest was taken in their cab in a layby.

Resources Targeted at Hotspots

But, I hear you all say, how will this change anything when resources are tight and there seem to be more DVSA staff carrying out MOTs than lying in wait along the road network?

The answer is that traffic examiners will be targeting areas where there have been the biggest problems, such as residential areas and laybys.

The Freight Transport Association says that for years, the DVSA has been “virtually powerless” to deal with the problem of non-UK lorry drivers racking up offences seemingly with impunity.

The new powers should give them the ability to take action against anyone found flouting road safety laws.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents believes one in five of all accidents and a quarter of serious and fatal crashes are causing by a tired driver.

It costs an estimated £16.3bn a year to the economy and adds pressure to the NHS and emergency services.