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Driving Today

Driving Today - The things you need to know
The law is always changing and driving is no exception to the rule.
making sure that drivers are aware of their responsibilities and obligations is important to us at Driver Hire, so please take the time to read the information below to ensure that you and your drivers are fully up to date with recent changes in the law.

On the spot
Since May 2009, VOSA enforcement officers, as well as the Police, can issue fixed penalties at the roadside to drivers who break the law. Fines can range from £30 to £200 depending on the offence. Penalty points may also be added to your driving licence. If the enforcement officer considers the offence warrants it, you could be taken to court and face prosecution.

Some of the categories of offence where fixed penalty notices can be issued are: tachograph offences, overloading, drivers’ hours, roadworthiness and statutory testing, driver licensing, European Community authorization and licences, vehicle excise duty etc.

How does this affect me?
Fines
Notices are issued to the driver, not the operator. If payment is required at the roadside but cannot be paid, these powers allow the Police and VOSA to immobilise the vehicle.
Points
You will normally be disqualified from driving any vehicle if you ‘tot up’ 12 points or more over a 3-year period. If this is the case, the matter must go to court. If you get too many fixed penalties, not only could you be fined or disqualified from driving, VOSA could report the matter to the Traffic Commissioner, who could suspend or revoke your vocational driving licence entitlement.

What do I need to do?
Make sure you:
Carry out a vehicle defect check and ensure your load is safe
Comply with all the rules on drivers’ hours and records
Obey all traffic rules and always watch your speed
Never use a hand-held phone when driving
Keep your name and address on your driving licence up to date
Visit VOSA’s website for more details on your legal obligations: www.dft.gov.uk/vosa 

If you are stopped by a VOSA enforcement officer:
Be polite and comply with their requests – obstructing them is a serious criminal offence
Remember you have 28 days to decide whether to accept a fixed penalty
  – consider taking legal advice if you are unsure
Remember you have the right to legal representation if asked to make a formal statement
Inform your employer as soon as possible 

 

Low-down on the CPC
A requirement of EU Directive 2003/59, the Driver CPC is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of drivers, enhance safety on our roads and give HGV and PCV drivers a recognized professional qualification. Its training requirements came into effect on 10 September 2009. CPC courses may include: drivers’ hours, vehicle checks, digital tachographs, health and safety, fuel efficient and eco driving, manual handling, customer service etc.

How does this affect me?
New LGV drivers
To gain a vocational licence, all drivers taking C1, C1+E, C and C+E tests must complete a Driver CPC in addition to their theory and practical Goods Vehicle driving test.
Existing drivers
Driverswho already hold a category C1, C1+E, C and C+E licence benefit from ‘acquired rights’ and don’t have to take a fresh driving test.

Both new and existing LGV and PCV drivers in these categories must undertake 35 hours of training split into 7 hour blocks, every 5 years. For existing drivers this must be completed by September 2014.

There are no tests; successful completion of the course is based on attendance.

What do I need to do?
Step 1 – Decide how you want to complete the 35 hours of training
This is entirely up to you, as long as you complete at least 7 hours at any one time. It would make sense to complete one day (7 hours) every year, in order to spread both the cost and time

Step 2 – Ask your employer about their CPC plans
Speak to your employer to find out if they have made any company-wide plans for this new legal requirement

Step 3 – Book yourself a place on a JAUPT-approved Driver CPC training course
There are currently approximately 450 companies approved to deliver periodic training

Step 4 – Apply for your DCPC qualification card once you’ve completed your 35 hours. You must carry your card at all times whilst driving professionally

Driver Hire is a provider of fully JAUPT-approved Driver CPC training courses. To find out more, or make a booking, contact your local office or visit www.driverhire.co.uk/drivercpc

 

 

Picture this
Photocard driving licences were introduced in July 1998. Unless you are on a short period licence (over 70 years of age or for medical reasons), your photo is only valid for 10 years. So if you have a photocard you must remember to renew your licence before it expires.

How does this affect me?
If you don’t renew your photo before it expires, you may have to pay a £1000 fine.

What do I need to do?
Check your photocard expiry date today! (section 4b)

You should receive an application pack from the DVLA two months before its expiry date, but it’s best to be safe.

Then you’ll need to take the following steps:

Step 1 – Get a new passport style photograph of yourself

Step 2 – Find both parts of your licence; the photocard and the paper counterpart

Step 3 – Fill in the D1 ‘Application for a Driving
Licence’ Available from the Post Office or online at www.direct.gov.uk Don’t forget to update it with any changes to your name or address

Step 4 – Send your application form, both parts of your licence and £20 fee to the DVLA.

For more information on renewing your driving licence, please visit www.direct.gov.uk/photorenewal

 

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