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New league table of EU infringements
A new EU Regulation published on 19 March 2016 has clarified the degrees of seriousness of infringements which may lead to loss of repute for an operator. It also sets out how an accumulation of minor infringements can automatically trigger a Traffic Commissioner’s reassessment of good repute (required by section 13 (3) (a) of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 for all those holding operators’ licenses).
In determining good repute the Traffic Commissioner will be looking at any relevant convictions and any other information that could affect an operator’s fitness to hold a license. The new EU Regulation will categorise infringements into most serious, very serious, serious and minor. An operator can be deemed to fail to meet the standard of good repute and have his license revoked, suspended or curtailed.
The league table of infringements includes:
- Exceeding weekly driving time by 25% or more
- Not having a tachograph fitted or falsifying the data it produces
- Exceeding weight limits by 25% or more
- Not keeping the vehicle in a safe and roadworthy condition
- Not having a speed limitation device fitted
- Transporting dangerous goods
- Carrying goods or people without a valid licence.
- Tachograph improperly used
- Insufficient rest periods
- Exceeding maximum working week
- Exceeding weight limits between 15% and 25%
- Exceeding the permitted maximum length of a vehicle by 20% or more
- Not respecting the minimum age for conductors
- Exceeding weekly driving time by up to 5 hours
- Exceeding weight limits by 5% up to 20%
- Exceeding the permitted maximum length of a vehicle by up to 20%
- Speed limitation device not fitted by an approved workshop
- Exceeding daily driving time by less than 1 hour
- Exceeding weekly driving time by up to 4 hours
- Failing to take the minimum required daily rest by up to 1 hour
An investigation into good repute is triggered if an operator or transport manager commits
- a single most serious infringement or
- 3 very serious
An accumulation of 3 serious offences (for example exceeding weekly driving time by up to 5 hours) per driver per year will equate to one very serious infringement. The calculation uses the total number of offences divided by the total number of drivers to determine the “per driver per year” average for an operator.
The Traffic Commissioner’s investigation will aim to reassess whether the operator or transport manager is of good repute which may lead to sanctions against either or both of them, including revocation of their licence.
Operators will wish to take note of the new league table and review compliance. They may also wish to make sure their employment contracts and policies clearly point out these forms of transgression as misconduct or gross misconduct.