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Professional drivers must be given access to toilets following HSE guidance update:

Published on: Nov 16 2017 at 06:27 PM

Companies must allow delivery drivers access to toilets as part of a Health and Safety Executive guidance update on workers’ welfare.


After a long-running campaign spearheaded by Gill Kemp at Truckers Toilets (UK), as well as the Unite union, the HSE said its guidance will now state: “Drivers must have access to welfare facilities in the premises they visit as part of their work.”


An HSE spokesman said: “As this is likely to take some time, key stakeholders are being informed now. The HSE has been aware for some time of concerns regarding access to welfare facilities for visiting delivery drivers.


“We have reviewed our approach including guidance to duty holders and re-examined the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992, in particular Regulations 20 and 21.


“The welfare of all workers is a priority and we have consistently said drivers should have this sort of access. We also recognise the majority of duty holders do already provide reasonable access to toilets.”


Professional driver Chris Campbell recently complained that bonded warehouse Rohlig refused him access to its toilets, claiming it was a security issue.


Unite said it wanted to “end the problem of drivers having to go to the toilet behind bushes, or having to continually hold on due to being denied access to toilet facilities”.


Unite national officer Adrian Jones said: “This change in the application of the regulations is highly significant as it restores the dignity of drivers by giving them the right to use an employer’s toilet and hand-washing facilities.


“If employers continue to refuse our members access to toilets we will pursue them through all avenues open to us, and that will include naming and shaming companies that deny drivers the right to spend a penny.”Kemp described the news as “excellent” and added: “Things are beginning to move in favour of the drivers at long last.”



If a driver is refused access to toilets, please let Commercial Motor know and they will name the companies involved. Contact or call 020 8912 2158.




Roll-out of testing for newly in-scope specialised heavy vehicles.

Published on: Nov 16 2017 at 05:29 PM


Certain heavy vehicles, based on an HGV chassis, will lose their plating and testing exemption on the 20 May 2018.

These categories of vehicles are:


  • mobile cranes
  • breakdown vehicles
  • engineering plant and plant, not being engineering plant, which is movable plant or equipment being a motor vehicle or trailer (not constructed primarily to carry a load) especially designed and constructed for the special purposes of engineering operations
  • trailers being drying or mixing plant designed for the production of asphalt or of bituminous or tarmacadam
  • tower wagons
  • road construction vehicles (but not road rollers and other specialised equipment not based on an HGV chassis)
  • electrically propelled motor vehicles first registered since 1 March 2015
  • tractor units pulling exempt trailers
  • motor tractors and heavy and light locomotives exempted under sections 185 and 186 (3) of the Road Traffic Act 1988, where these are based on a HGV chassis
  • heavy goods vehicles and trailers on the Isle of Bute
  • heavy goods vehicles and trailers on Arran, Great Cumbrae, Islay, Mull, Tiree or North Uist, which are used on mainland Great Britain


The Department for Transport (DfT) has decided to adopt a phased approach for vehicles coming into the scope of testing. This approach will allow the phasing in of the new requirements beyond 20 May 2018 and up to 20 May 2019, for most of the vehicle types affected. However, all vehicles will require a Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate before their Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) renewal date in the course of that year at the latest.


This approach will smooth out the annual profile of tests and give industry more flexibility to balance out the testing of their fleet over a longer period.


Detail of approach to phasing in testing:




The phased approach is only for motor vehicles that:


1) are not in the list of excluded vehicle types below


2) were first registered before 20 May 2017


3) are currently (until 20 May 2018) exempt from statutory roadworthiness testing but from 20 May 2018 are subject to statutory roadworthiness testing (the change being effected by SI 2017 No.849)


All other vehicles must have a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate in line with the statutory requirements. For newly-in-scope vehicles, this applies from 20 May 2018.


The following vehicles types are excluded from the phased approach (all these vehicles must have a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate from 20 May 2018):


  • motor vehicles to be used in international traffic
  • mobile concrete batching plant (also known as volumetric concrete mixers) (owing to other potential regulatory changes applicable to them)
  • newly-in-scope tractors (i.e. those with a design speed over 40km/h used for nonagricultural haulage beyond a radius of 15 miles from their operating base)
  • trailers, of all types


Phased approach:


For this to apply to eligible vehicles, the following conditions must be met:


1. a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate must be held at the time of the vehicle’s

first VED renewal date after 19 May 2018.


2. for vehicles without a Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate after 19 May 2018, records of the date and outcomes of at least the most recent “safety inspection” (as opposed to general maintenance) must be available for inspection by enforcement authorities if required - the person undertaking the safety inspection must be technically competent and operationally aware of the safety standards that apply to the vehicles they examine


3. the safety inspection is required to be conducted in line with DVSA’s published guidance within the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness Manual


4. vehicles must be in a roadworthy condition at all times


Providing the above conditions are met, enforcement authorities will not take enforcement action for not having a valid Goods Vehicle Testing Certificate in place after 20 May 2018

and prior to the VED renewal date.


Enforcement action may be taken if the vehicle is not in a roadworthy condition.



Life sentences for killer drivers

Published on: Oct 24 2017 at 07:58 PM

Ministers have confirmed plans to introduce tougher sentences for those who drive irresponsibly and devastate lives:


  • life sentences will be introduced for those who cause death by dangerous driving, and for careless drivers who kill while under the influence of drink or drugs
  • new offence of causing serious injury through careless driving to be created
  • part of government action to make roads safer for all and stop devastation caused by dangerous drivers and cyclists.


The move comes after an overwhelming response to a government consultation, which revealed substantial backing for the plans from a wide range of people including victims, bereaved families and road safety experts.


Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: "We’ve taken a long hard look at driving sentences, and we received 9,000 submissions to our consultation. Based on the seriousness of the worst cases, the anguish of the victims’ families, and maximum penalties for other serious offences such as manslaughter, we intend to introduce life sentences of imprisonment for those who wreck lives by driving dangerously, drunk or high on drugs."


On the new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, Raab said: "We will introduce a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving, punishable by imprisonment, to fill a gap in the law and reflect the seriousness of some of the injuries suffered by victims in this category of case."


The measures were confirmed in a government response to a consultation which sought views on whether current maximum penalties available to the courts should be increased, and received over 1,000 replies in just three days when launched in December 2016 – reaching more than 9,000 when it closed in February 2017.


The proposals confirmed include:


  • increasing the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life
  • increasing the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs from 14 years to life
  • creating a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.


In 2016, 157 people were sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving, with a further 32 convicted of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence.


Ministry of Justice

October 2017




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