Driver’s hours offenders face tougher penalties

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Lorry drivers face tougher penalties for breaking drivers’ hours rules under regulations that are being laid before parliament today (14th September).

The regulations will give DVSA traffic examiners the ability to issued penalties for any drivers’ hours offences committed by lorry, bus and coach drivers over the previous 28 days.

At the moment the DVSA can only issue fixed penalty notices to lorry drivers for drivers’ hours offences committed that day or which are current and on-going. To deal with earlier offences the agency would need to take offenders to court. The process is costly and time-consuming and drivers without a UK address may not respond to a summons.

Drivers who don’t live in the UK will have to pay any penalties before continuing on their journey. If necessary their vehicle will be immobilised until they’ve done so.

DVSA’s traffic examiners can fine drivers up to £300 for each breach of the tachograph rules and vehicle examiners can fine up to £300 for each mechanical offence, up to a maximum of 5 offences per examiner.

In addition to the new powers, DVSA enforcement officers will start issuing fines of up to £300 to lorry drivers who take their full, weekly 45-hour rest breaks in their vehicle.

DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “These tougher penalties will help us to take stronger action against any drivers or operators who break drivers’ hours rules and will help make our roads safer. Any driver breaking these rules is putting other road users at risk and could face losing their licence and livelihood.”

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