The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the proposals contained in the Road Safety Bill, before Parliament today, which seeks to impose new conditions on foreign lorry drivers committing offences while in the UK.
The new moves will mean that foreign drivers caught in breach of endorsable offences, for example drivers’ hours limits or overloading, will be obliged to pay an immediate deposit equal to the likely fine. In this way they will not be able to avoid paying fines, as is often the case at present.
FTA external affairs director Geoff Dossetter says: “It is evident that foreign lorries are much more likely to offend traffic regulations than UK domestic drivers – statistics show that foreign drivers break drivers’ hours rules four times as much as UK drivers and for overloading the rate is twice as much. In the past it has been too easy for offending foreign drivers to simply leave the country and avoid a fine. That situation will change.”
He also went on to say that: “Numbers of foreign lorries operating in the UK are rising – something like one in eight of the heaviest vehicles on UK roads is from overseas. These vehicles pay no fees or taxes for the use of UK roads, unlike the situation of UK vehicles working in Europe. FTA hopes that this uncompetitive situation can be corrected as soon as possible. In the mean time, better enforcement specifically aimed at foreign lorries is very welcome.”