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Increased Fines for Commercial Drivers
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is to gain increased powers to fine commercial drivers.
Fines to deter rest breaks in vehicles
Lorry, bus and coach drivers must take a 45-hour rest break at least every fortnight.
From 1 November 2017, DVSA will start to fine drivers up to £300 if they spend their full weekly rest break in their vehicle in places where it causes a problem, such as the cab of their lorry in a layby.
According to the DVSA, spending the weekly rest break in the cab contributes to drivers not properly resting and exposes drivers to poor living conditions.
It can also cause problems in local communities where lorry drivers have parked illegally or inappropriately while taking the 45-hour break which results in residents complaining about noise, litter and anti-social behaviour.
Fines for multiple drivers’ hours offences committed in the last 28 days
At present, the DVSA can only issue on the spot fines up to £300 for offences committed that day or ongoing offences like tachograph manipulation.
DVSA traffic examiners will be given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for any drivers’ hours offences committed in the last 28 days.
In a single roadside check, DVSA traffic examiners will be able to issue fines for up to 5 drivers’ hours offences. It means that a driver could be fined up to £1,500 in a single check if they have consistently broken the rules.
It will not matter if the offences took place in Great Britain or elsewhere.
The rules will also apply to drivers from outside Great Britain who will need to pay any fines immediately before being allowed to continue their journey. DVSA will immobilise their vehicle until they pay.
The DVSA have not given an implementation date for these new powers but have committed to publicising it widely once it is known.
If you require any advice regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of transport law solicitors.