Drivers Hours: changes to fines for commercial drivers.
The driver and vehicle standards agency (DVSA), can fine drivers up to £300. They could be prosecuted or have their vehicle immobilised.
The new powers allow DVSA traffic examiners to issue on the spot fines to drivers for committing any driver hour offences over the last 28 days.
DVSA traffic examiners will be able to issue on the spot fines for a maximum of five driver hour offences in one check. This means the driver could be fined up to £1,500 in on check. Even if the offence did not take place in Great Britain you will still be fined.
These rules also apply to drivers who do not live in Great Britain, but they will have to pay the fine immediately or run the risk of having their vehicle immobilised until they pay.
The date for when the rules will change have not been announced yet but will be confirmed closer to the date.
The changes will be well-publicised ensuring drivers and operators are aware of the penalties.
Lorry, bus and coach drivers must take a 45-hour rest break at least every fortnight. From the 1st November 2017, the DVSA will start to fine drivers up to £300 if they spend their full weekly rest break in their vehicle in places where it causes a problem. If a driver spends their full break in the cab of their lorry in a lay by for example.
DVSA traffic examiners will target places where this is causing the biggest problems such as residential areas and laybys. The DVSA state that they will work with their counterparts in other countries to deal with overseas operators whose drivers regularly do this.
Protecting against tiredness goes beyond compliance with driver’s hours and the working time directive it is a huge issue of driver and public safety.
A large percentage of accidents resulting in death or injury are fatigue related. Approximately 40% of fatigue related accidents involve commercial vehicles. Fatigue affects the driver’s attention, concentration, reaction time and their ability to control their vehicle. Dual carriageways and motorways are more common roads for sleep related crashes, this is because of the roads being monotonous. Approximately 25% of accidents involving tired lorry drivers are fatal or serious.
- 6,300 driver’s hours fines were given to lorry drivers by DVSA between April 2015 and March 2016
- 1,385 were drivers hours.
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