Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more changes to road transport rules, along comes this one!
Soon to be introduced into UK legislation is a move by DVSA (Driver Vehicle Standards Agency) to provide their examiners with the power to issue on the spot fines to drivers for hours infringements committed over the last 28 days, both in the UK and in Europe.
Currently examiners are only able to issue fines to drivers who have committed offences on the day they are stopped. At the new level of fine (£300 per offence) they will be able to issue up to 5 fines meaning a total of £1,500 from one spot check. Obviously they will still have the power to prosecute but under this new regulation will also have the power to immobilise the vehicle until the fine is paid.
One area the DVSA will focus on is insufficient weekly rest periods. From 1 November 2017 they will introduce fines, again up to £300, if a driver has taken his 45 hour rest period in the cab especially if it can be proved the vehicle was parked in an inappropriate place such as a layby. They are taking this action as they feel a weekend spent in a layby on the roadside is not conducive to a proper rest and is also likely to be an annoyance to those living nearby through noise, anti-social behaviour and litter.
Clearly this new power will assist the DVSA in tackling non-UK drivers. The Government said ‘For some years, DVSA officers have been virtually powerless to take effective action against non-UK HGV drivers who may have committed a string of offences in the days and weeks before the vehicle is stopped.
These new powers mean the enforcement authorities will be more able – and more likely – to take action against all drivers who are found to have repeatedly flouted these critical road safety laws’.