Drivers' hours and tacho convictions fall

Published: 30 January 2013

Drivers' hours and tacho convictions fall
With the number of reported drivers’ hours offences dropping by 47% and reported tacho offences falling by 52% since the introduction of graduated fixed penalties in 2009, a spokesman for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (TCs) said the TCs were pleased to see that Vosa’s legislative changes seemed to be “delivering real improvements in compliance levels.”
Drivers’ hours offences topped the list of most common offences in England and Wales, followed by tacho non-compliance, Vosa figures revealed.

Convictions for drivers’ hours offences dropped by 45% between 2008/09 and 2010/11, whilst the number of convictions for tacho offences fell by 42%.
According to VOSA, previous to 2008/09 there was no provision for VOSA to issue fixed penalties meaning the only available sanction was prosecution.  Whereas the 2010/11 figures show a reduction in prosecutions because many infringements were dealt with by means of fixed penalty or graduated deposit.

Despite this, Road Haulage Association (RHA) head of policy Jack Semple was concerned about the number of tacho offences.

He said: “The falsification of drivers’ hours is a concern and [the figures] point to serious hours offending.”

Vosa data also revealed that since the graduated fixed penalty scheme was introduced by Vosa in April 2009, the overall average fine fell from £286 in 2008/09 to £248 in 2010/11. Despite this, the average fine for drivers’ hours offences increased by 34% to £183 (2008/09: £136).

The spokesman for the Office of the TC added: “Vosa and the TCs are not complacent and are keen to work together to ensure that serious and serial non-compliance is tackled effectively by a package of measures including the imposition of fixed penalties, prosecutions and calls to public inquiry where appropriate to ensure the promotion of road safety and fair competition.”
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