The Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can issue on-the-spot fines of up to £300 per offence if HGV or PSV drivers are caught breaking drivers’ hours rules; they may also be prosecuted and have their vehicle immobilised.
From 1 November 2017, DVSA traffic examiners will be able to issue fines of up to £300 for drivers who have spent their full weekly rest in their vehicle where it causes a problem; for example spending a full break in the cab whilst parked in a layby.
In addition, the DVSA have announced that traffic examiners will soon be given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for any drivers’ hours offences committed in the last 28 days. Currently they can only issue fines for offences committed that day or for ongoing offences such as manipulating tachograph records.
In a single roadside check, DVSA will be able to issue fines for up to five drivers’ hours offences. With a maximum fine per offence of £300, this could mean an on-the-spot fine of up to £1,500 in a single check. Importantly, it won’t matter if the offences took place in Great Britain or elsewhere.
Please remember that drivers’ hours rules are there for good reason; to ensure road safety, and any infringement, however small, can frustrate this. As these changes demonstrate, you also need to be taking notice of where your drivers are taking their breaks. Ensure your TM is regularly checking for infringements and following up on them; failure to do so could have devastating consequences.