The government has put forward proposals to issue on-the-spot fines to truckers who fail to pay the HGV levy or break the drivers’ hours rules in a move designed to improve enforcement for foreign vehicles.
Roads Minister Stephen Hammond has launched a consultation on the plan to give enforcement officers the option of giving truck drivers an on-the-spot fine instead of taking them to court.
The move targets foreign vehicles particularly. Enforcing drivers’ hours rules on foreign vehicles is difficult as drivers cannot be issued with a court summons.
The proposals would mean officers could issue a penalty for offences committed up to 28 days after an offence, and would also allow enforcement of the new HGV road user levy for similar periods.
Hammond said: “Tired drivers are more prone to accidents which is why there are limits on the number of hours hauliers can drive. Sadly a selfish minority ignore this, putting others’ road safety at risk. The option to issue a fine for this offence would provide an effective weapon in the fight against irresponsible driving by both foreign and UK drivers.”
The consultation runs until 11th August 2014 and seek views on enabling enforcement officers to issue fines for driving extra hours or not paying the HGV levy 28 days prior to being pulled over.
* The proposals have been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association. Policy director Karen Dee said: “Rules and regulations are only effective if they can be enforced properly and we are pleased that the Government is consulting on some new ways of achieving this.
“At the moment, any drivers’ hours offences that become apparent through scrutiny of the records, but that are not actually being committed at the time of the stop, cannot be dealt with by way of 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 that visiting operators and their drivers are held to account for any infringements, so it makes sense that the Government is looking to use this mechanism. FTA will now look closely at the detail of the proposals with members.”