Bus and coach drivers Driver CPC deadline approaching

Electric goods vehicles now need an MOT

From today (Saturday 1 September 2018), electric vans will no longer be exempt from the MOT if they:

  • have a gross weight not exceeding 3,500kg
  • were first registered on or after 1 March 2015

These vehicles will need their first MOT on the third anniversary of when they were registered.

If your vehicle is no longer exempt and the third anniversary has already passed, it will need a current MOT to be legally driven and taxed from today.

New HGV roadworthiness legislation

New HGV roadworthiness legislation on its way

The government will be introducing new HGV roadworthiness legislation next year. The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently published the response to a consultation, setting out the HGV periodic testing and inspections exemptions which you can read here. It forms part of a wider package of legislation on roadworthiness-related changes, which will come into effect from 20 May 2018.

Who does this apply to?

The big question is, who (and what) does this new legislation apply to? Well, this is aimed at specialised heavy vehicles (which were previously exempt) who will now fall into the scope of annual testing. These vehicles will need to be plated before they are tested.

When will the new legislation take effect?

The DVSA will implement a phased approach for most vehicle types affected, which will extend the date for compliance, under certain circumstances, beyond 20 May 2018 and up to 20 May 2019 at the latest. It’s based on the Vehicle Excise Duty renewal date for the relevant vehicles. This will help to make sure the implementation is carried out in a way that gives industry more flexibility to balance out the testing of their fleet over a longer period.

Which vehicles will now be included?

In total, DVSA estimate there to be around 29,500 vehicles that will be brought into testing. The largest groups of vehicles affected are breakdown vehicles, road construction vehicles and engineering plant.
Top line categories of vehicles to be removed from exemption:
  • Mobile cranes; Break-down vehicles;
  • Engineering plant and plant, not being engineering plant, which is movable plant or equipment being a motor vehicle or trailer (not constructed primarily to carry a load) especially designed and constructed for the special purposes of engineering operations;
  • Trailers being drying or mixing plant designed for the production of asphalt or of bituminous or tarmacadam;
  • Tower wagons;
  • Road construction vehicles (but not road rollers and other specialised equipment not based on an HGV chassis);
  • Electrically propelled motor vehicles registered since 1 March 2015; Tractor units pulling exempt trailers; and
  • Motor tractors and heavy and light locomotives exempted under sections 185 and 186 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where these are based on a HGV chassis.

It’s worth noting that showman’s vehicles, many of which are currently exempt from testing as plant or motor tractors, will remain exempt from testing via a new specific exemption

Plating and testing

The focus of the consultation was on the requirement for annual roadworthiness testing. However, heavy vehicles within scope of annual roadworthiness testing are also by default within scope of vehicle plating. This involves DVSA issuing a plating certificate, in advance of a vehicle’s first test, to be attached to the vehicle that denotes the maximum vehicle weight and maximum train weight. This assists with vehicle testing and enforcement. There is no fee to vehicle operators for being plated, but this imposes an administrative cost to DVSA, funded by roadworthiness test fees.

Vehicles becoming subject to testing will join the existing goods vehicle testing regime where DVSA personnel test vehicles at Authorised Testing Facilities (ATFs). Where, due to the unusual design of a particular vehicle, this is not possible, the vehicle testers will satisfy themselves that safety and environmental standards will be maintained. The fees for these tests will be the same as applies to all currently tested HGVs

As with all consultations and new legislation changes they are detailed. So if you fall into any of the above categories it is recommended you read the full document which you can find here. Find out more about the phased approach.

If you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to get in touch, here to share the knowledge!
handheld mobile phone law update

Handheld mobile phone law update

The handheld phone law update is out and includes changes to the penalties you will now receive if you’re unwise enough to use your phone at the wheel. 

This is a forward post from the DVSA

From 1 March 2017, the penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving will increase to 6 points on your licence and a Ј200 fine.

THINK! has launched a new campaign encouraging drivers to put their phone in the glove compartment while driving to avoid temptation.

See THINK!’s website to find out more about the campaign.

the_office_of_the_traffic_commisioner

Updated guidance from the Traffic Commissioners office

Forward posts with updated guidance from the Traffic Commissioners office.

Following consultation with stakeholders and industry, the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s statutory documents have been updated. The revised documents, which are available online, explain the legal basis and the way traffic commissioners approach the exercise of their statutory functions.

Detailed information on legislation for goods and passenger carrying vehicles is provided in the guidance, as well as other relevant legislation and case law. The revised guidance details a range of topics including; good repute and fitness, finance, transport managers and operating centres.

A short summary of the main changes can be read below.

Good repute or fitness

This guidance sets out the requirements for satisfying good repute or fitness. The update gives better guidance on what’s relevant to your repute or fitness as an operator, and who is fit to fulfil conditions and undertakings on your licence. It also includes guidance on the approach licensing and compliance staff should take when acting on behalf of individual traffic commissioners, to determine good repute and fitness.

Financial Standing

On 1 January 2017, revised financial standing requirements will come into force for standard national and international operator licences.

Standard operator licence
VehiclesPrevious ratesRate from 1 January 2017
First vehicle£6,650£7,850
Additional vehicles£3,700£4,350

The rates are calculated each year against the Euro exchange rate as required under EU Regulation 1071/2009.

In recent years, the amount of money for standard licence holders has reduced. The levels are increasing because of a change in the exchange rate.

Restricted operator licence

There will be no change to the finance which must be available to support restricted licence applications and licences.

VehiclesRate
First vehicle£3,100
Additional vehicles£1,700
Driver conduct

This guidance covers vocational driver conduct matters that are referred to traffic commissioners by the Secretary of State for Transport (through DVLA). The update provides more detailed guidance and contains a number of case studies, which you can use to train and educate drivers.

Decision making

This document explains how commissioners make their decisions, including calling operators to public inquiry. Changes to the document will lead to less serious cases being taken out of public inquiry listings. This is so that the commissioners’ tribunal resources can be targeted at the most seriously non-compliant operators, transport managers and drivers.

Delegations to staff

This publication sets out matters that traffic commissioners routinely delegate to staff acting on their behalf and deputy traffic commissioners. The updates include information that allows traffic commissioner staff to make more decisions on behalf of traffic commissioners.

If you’d like to learn more you can view all the revised documents here.

 

external-transport-manager-dvsa-vehicle

The new London Freight Enforcement Partnership to tackle unsafe HGVs for safer London streets

Aside from the fact all operators and drivers should be compliant and their vehicles are at MOT standard at all times, this is sadly not the case. October 13th saw a new initiative by the formation of a new London Freight Enforcement Partnership.

The partnership will build on the work of Transport for London (TfL) and partner agencies, including the Industrial HGV Task Force (IHTF) and Commercial Vehicle Units. It will tackle unsafe HGVs (LGVs), and take any non-compliant and unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers and operators off London’s streets.

Launched on 13th October 2015 by London’s Transport Commissioner, Mike Brown MVO and Chairman of Network Rail and Chair of the London Freight Enforcement Partnership, Sir Peter Hendy CBE, alongside representatives from London’s police forces, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and the freight industry.

The Industrial HGV Task Force, has had great success targeting the most dangerous of commercial vehicles. The Task Force, jointly funded by TfL and the Department for Transport, acts as a deterrent against non-compliant companies that attempt to undercut those operating legitimately.

Since October 2013, more than 6,030 vehicles have been targeted and stopped, 87 vehicles seized, 4,500 prosecutions progressed through the Criminal Justice System and 2,134 fixed penalty notices issued for offences including:

  • Lack of insurance
  • Driving without the correct licence
  • Unsafe tyres
  • Vehicle not equipped with cycle safeguards
  • Not accurately recording driver hours

The London Freight Enforcement Partnership will also make the most of powers at their disposal. This will include better use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology for targeting vehicles and feeding reports about identified operator and driver non-compliance to the Traffic Commissioner.

EU 165/2014 external transport manage

Easy to read legislative changes to Tachograph and Exemption rules

While I’m here I thought I’d post the updated legislative changes to Tachograph and Exemption rules which came into place back in March….all useful stuff!

Extension to digital tachograph Vehicle Unit download limit

On 6 April 2015 the maximum legal limit for downloading data from the digital tachograph vehicle unit increased from the current 56 days to the EU maximum of 90 days. The limit for the driver card was unchanged. This may now allow operators whose vehicle safety inspections are at intervals of eight weeks or greater to incorporate the download as part of the inspection process, as is common practice currently where the inspection interval is less than eight weeks. This may also aid operators whose vehicles spend significant amounts of time away from base.

New generation digital tachographs

A new regulation from the EU will impact upon various aspects of digital tachograph laws, including specifying a ‘new generation’ unit which will be required to be fitted in new vehicles registered from around 2019 (specific date yet to be confirmed). The new tachograph units will include a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) source to produce a location stamp at start and end of driving and otherwise at three hour intervals, a wireless enforcement function to communicate to enforcement officers possible manipulation (but not driving and break data), and the integration with Intelligent Transport Systems such as telematics equipment.

Exemptions 

From 2 March 2015, a new European regulation – EU 165/2014 (PDF 2 MB) – will replace EEC 3821/85, setting out requirements for the construction, installation, use, testing and control of tachograph recording equipment.

The new regulation increases the journey distance for exemptions from 50km to 100km from the operator’s base. This will apply to:

  • vehicles or vehicle and trailer combinations with a maximum weight of 7,500 kg which are:

 –      used to carry materials, equipment or machinery for the driver’s use in the course of his work and when driving the vehicle is not the driver’s main activity

 –      used to carry goods and which are propelled by natural or liquefied gas or electricity

  • vehicles used to carry live animals from farms to local markets, or from markets to local farms or slaughterhouses

From 2 March 2015, these vehicles will no longer have to be fitted with tachograph recording equipment and the drivers will not have to comply with EC drivers’ hour rules. Instead, drivers of these vehicles must meet GB domestic drivers’ hours rules.

safer-hgv-zone

TFL’s London’s Safer Lorry Scheme

Due to the surprising lack of national publicity regarding the TFL’s Safer Lorry Scheme, I thought I’d post this, in the hope that those operators who still don’t know about the initiative might now know. In a nutshell as of 1st September 2015 all HGVs (LGVs) driving in London will need to be:

  • Fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles
  • Fitted with side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision

external-transport-manager-safer-lorries-scheme-mirror

The Safer Lorry Scheme will be operating 24 7 across London covering the same area as the Low Low Emission Zone

This fantastic news for cycle safety and it’s a shame the Safer Lorry Scheme has taken so long to come into play. Anyhow now it’s here and lets hope there are no more fatalities on our capitals streets.

Enforcement for the Safer Lorry Scheme will be by the Met, City of London Police and the DVSA.

  • Drivers found to be in charge of a non-compliant vehicle may be issued with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice
  • The offence also carries a potential fine of £1000 at Magistrate’s court
  • The Traffic Commissioner, will also be notified of companies operating vehicles in breach of the scheme

For full information go to the TFL page here