The Freight Transport Association and Road Haulage Association have welcomed the Driving Standards Agency’s consultation on the possibility of exempting technicians taking vehicles to test from the scope of the Driver CPC. The two associations are pleased that their recent joint letter to the transport minister on the subject has resulted in quick action by government.
FTA and RHA wrote to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Stephen Hammond, in May voicing their deep concern at advice issued by the Department for Transport which implied that garage technicians and mechanics driving heavy vehicles to statutory annual tests would be considered in-scope of the Driver CPC Directive. They raised the point that according to industry estimates there are more than 30,000 technicians in the UK, adding that although they were aware that a few companies have taken the decision to include these employees in their DCPC training programmes, they believed that the vast majority have not, and added that for all of them to achieve full compliance for their staff in just over one year would be a massive task and cost for the industry and one that would deliver relatively little benefit.
The associations argued that they felt the Directive was never intended to cover this type of activity and would impose a burden on UK industry – particularly as there are a number of other EU Member States which consider such activities as exempt from the requirements.
FTA’s Chief Executive, Theo de Pencier, said:
"We’re really pleased that government has listened to our case and has acted so quickly to try to provide a solution. We will be offering all the support we can to ensure that this issue can be resolved fully in advance of the deadline for DCPC."
RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning said:
"In our view, the intention of the EU Legislation has always been that it applies to drivers who are directly and substantially involved in the delivery of goods and that was reinforced by specific exemptions for some categories of drivers. Applying the legislation where it was clearly not intended, would make no sense and we are delighted that the Minister has accepted our arguments."
The consultation closes on 28 June 2013.