Published: 20 June 2014
ReturnLoads.net can report that the latest consultation has been launched, to issue on-the spot fines to drivers who are caught exceeding drivers’ hours rules or fail to pay the HGV road user levy.
Stephen Hammond, the Roads Minister believes that allowing enforcement officers to issue on-the spot fines will ensure that all those committing an offence are reprimanded. Foreign hauliers are harder to hold to account for infringements, as the current legislation requires them to receive a summons for court, which can prove to be difficult when the driver has no UK address.
Intentions of the new consultation are to explore whether or not enforcement officers have the powers to fine drivers on-the spot for immediate and historic offences, up to a maximum of 28 days.
Hammond said, “The option to issue a fine for exceeding driving hours would provide an effective weapon in the fight against irresponsible driving by both foreign and UK drivers.
“This and the fact we introduced the new HGV levy earlier this year shows we are determined to ensure UK drivers and their foreign competitors are on a level playing field.”
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) believes this consultation is a welcome step to holding foreign hauliers accountable for any infringements on the UK roads, even historical ones that are found during roadside enforcement.
Karen Dee, FTA Director of Policy, added, “At the moment, any drivers’ hours offences that become apparent through scrutiny of the records, but are not actually committed at the time of the stop, cannot be dealt with by a fixed penalty. As a result it is difficult to enforce for those drivers and operators that are not resident in the UK.
“On-the spot fines are a well-established and effective way of ensuring visiting operators and their drivers are held to account for any infringement, so it makes sense that the Government is looking to use this mechanism.”
Government is currently seeking industry’s views until 11 August to gauge reaction to giving enforcement officers the ability to issue on-the spot fines.