Commercial drivers face new fines over their hours

Posted on: 28 September 2017

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A number of rules are going to be changed affecting lorry, bus and coach drivers. Those that drive tired will be fined for each time they've done it in the last 28 days. As well as this, where drivers rest is also going to be put under scrutiny.

At the moment, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can fine drivers up to £300 if they’re caught breaking the following rules:

  • Offences committed that day
  • Ongoing offences, like manipulating tachograph records, which record drivers’ hours.
     

Fines for older offences

Moving forward, traffic examiners are going to have the power to issue on-the-spot fines for offences committed in the last 28 days. DVSA examiners will be able to issue up to five drivers’ hours offences at a time – which means an individual could be fined up to £1,500 for a single check if consistently breaking the rules.

It doesn’t matter where the offence took place and drivers who don’t live in the UK will need to pay fines immediately or won’t be allowed to carry on with their journeys.

The DVSA haven’t announced exactly when these rule changes will come into force, but have said it will be well publicised so everyone affected will be aware.
 

Fines for not resting properly

Lorry, bus and coach drivers must take a 45-hour rest break at least every fortnight.

From 1 November 2017, the DVSA will start fining drivers up to £300 if they spend all of their rest breaks in their vehicles where it could cause a problem – like a layby.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), driving while tired may be responsible for:

  • 1 in 5 of all accidents
  • up to a quarter of serious and fatal crashes1

These new changes could see a rise in the number of fines for commercial drivers. However, these new measures are designed to make our roads safer and reduce the fact that 40% of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles.

 

1 Drivers’ hours: changes to fines for commercial drivers – GOV.UK