Hundreds of lorry drivers in breach of driver hours

Published: 04 January 2016

Hundreds of lorry drivers in breach of driver hours
Inspection officers carried out thousands of random checks on lorry drivers on the M54, M6 and M5 during a yearlong campaign against illegal practices, according to figures recently released from a Freedom of Information request.
 
Some lorry drivers were found to be in breach of limits on the length of hours they have been driving without breaks during the day.
 
Figures show tired drivers account for one in five serious crashes.
A range of regulations are enforced by the DVSA to ensure lorry drivers are sufficiently rested before they hit the roads.
 
The majority of the checks were carried out at the M6, close to the junction with the M54 at Doxey and off junction 3 for the M5 for Halesowen.
 
Officials found lorry drivers had breached their working hours on 286 occasions and had to issue 147 graduated fixed penalty notices.
 
Fixed penalty fines vary depending on the severity of the offence but they can reach up to £300 for the lorry driver. Their employers can also be subjected to follow-up visits by inspectors to check on working practices. For cases deemed as very serious offences, a report on the haulage operator will be presented to regulator, the Traffic Commissioner, for a ruling.
 
These checks were carried out in 2014/15 on Shropshire’s M54, the M5 between J1 West Bromwich and J4 for Lydiate Ash and Bromsgrove near Halesowen, the M6 between J6, for the Aston Expressway, and J14 for north Stafford and Stone.
 
A DVSA spokesman said: “Drivers’ hours rules help ensure our roads are safe for all road users.”
 
"When drivers are fatigued, vigilance and alertness deteriorate. This affects drivers’ performance, including increased line crossing and poor speed control.
 
"Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency works with the Highways Agency and police forces around the UK to provide drivers with guidance on the regulations."
 
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