Roadside check changes on the way?
By: Dave Robbins
08 October 2014
Top of page
The Department for Transport (DfT) is considering an increase in the extent of fixed penalty notices which can be issued by police officers and Driving and Vehicle Standards Authority (DVSA) examiners at roadside checks.
Since 2009 they’ve been able to issue on-the-spot fines for failing to take appropriate breaks or having sufficient rest between shifts.
Assuming the plans go ahead – the DfT is currently in consultation on this matter – it would mean that drivers’ hours offences which occurred not just on the day but on the previous 28-days would be included. With a focus on foreign drivers, the extended measures would include failure to pay the HGV road user levy both on the day of the stop and the same number of days prior to the stop.
The new rules would cut out the need for what are, quite often, simple offences going to court. Whilst this has obvious cost and time saving benefits, it also has the potential to increase the number of appeals, thus negating any savings. It’s also been pointed out that the changes would put more of the brunt of failure to comply on the driver rather than the operator.
On the other hand, the DfT believes that its proposals will create a level playing field as it means closer working between the police and the DVSA. Drivers often report that their experience of a roadside check differs hugely depending on which authority carried it out.
It also believes that adopting the changes would put foreign drivers working in the UK on the same footing as British drivers working in Europe, where agencies already operate in this way and fixed penalties are much higher.