The proposal to allow on-the-spot fines to be issued for two new offences is a welcome step towards ensuring that foreign HGV drivers are held to account for any infringements, said the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in response to the launch of a consultation today by Roads Minister Stephen Hammond.
The legislation would mean that non-UK truck drivers would be held accountable for historical drivers’ hours offences detected during roadside enforcement.
Currently enforcement staff can only issue fines if they detect the offence that day – the consultation seeks to allow them to issue a penalty up to 28 days after an offence was committed, and would allow enforcement of the new HGV Road User Levy for similar periods.
Karen Dee, FTA’s Director of Policy, said:
"Rules and regulations are only effective if they can be enforced properly and we are pleased that the Government is consulting on some new ways of achieving this. At the moment, any drivers’ hours offences that become apparent through scrutiny of the records, but that are not actually being committed at the time of the stop, cannot be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty. As a result it is difficult to enforce for those drivers and operators that are not resident in the UK."
"On-the spot fines are a well-established and effective way of ensuring that visiting operators and their drivers are held to account for any infringements, so it makes sense that the Government is looking to use this mechanism. FTA will now look closely at the detail of the proposals with members."
Drivers’ hours rules and the HGV Road User Levy are important features of the road freight industry: drivers’ hours rules play a key role in maintaining the safety of road freight operations; and the HGV RUL ensures that foreign vehicles make a financial contribution towards the wear and tear they impose while they are operating in the UK. FTA will be looking closely at the detail of the proposals and discussing it with members in order to develop a formal response.
The consultation runs until Monday 11 August 2014.