The CPC Link are pleased to announce that another new course has been added to their list of available courses for use by Members as Periodic Driver CPC Training.
At the request of its Members The CPC Link made an application for a new course and today we are pleased to announce that JAUPT and the DVSA have given approval for a one day refresher course on the truck mounted category of MEWP. This now means that drivers of such vehicles can utilise industry training as Diver CPC Periodic Training rather than having to take additional time away from the workplace.
The original application was for both mobile as well as static types of MEWP, the idea being that delivery drivers working for MEWP rental companies could utilise the training. Unfortunately, this was refused by JAUPT and the DVSA as they did not feel that it came within the scope of the EU Directive (2003/59/EC) despite evidence to show that drivers of such vehicles are often required to operate MEWP’s during the loading and offloading process on the public highway as part of their daily duties.
It is fair to say that JAUPT and the DVSA are taking a more reserved view of what is, and is not acceptable for use as Periodic Driver CPC Training. Courses such as the industrial counterbalance forklift will generally receive approval whereas the telehandler type of forklift or any other type of plant operator refresher course will not receive approval.
The CPC Link have been assured that this is the case for all applicants so if your training provider says anything different then it might be worth checking with JAUPT before handing your money over! Drivers attending courses that are not JAUPT approved risk having the hours removed and therefore potentially driving illegally leaving themselves and their employer, if applicable, open to prosecution.
The new course is available with immediate effect. If you wish to know more about the course or would like to find out how you can deliver it to your staff, please contact us here.
Many employers ask drivers to spend their weekly rest periods in the cabs of their vehicles despite this being in breach of the EU’s driving and rest rules set out in EC Regulation 561/2006 regarding drivers’ hours and tachographs.
This practice came under scrutiny recently when one of the EU's senior judges at the EU's Court of Justice (CJEU) agreed with the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) who point out that non-resident professional drivers are the main victims of this practice.
Advocate General Evgeni Tanchev was providing a legal opinion in a case brought by Belgium, Vaditrans v Belgium. The claim by Belgium stated that the terms of EC Regulation 561/2006 meant that the regular weekly rest periods referred to in that regulation must not be spent inside the vehicle.
The Advocate Generals legal opinion will now be taken into consideration by the CJEU when it gives it's final ruling later this year. Although The Court is not bound to follow the opinion of the Advocate General in the majority of cases it will do so.
The prohibitions on using a hand-held mobile telephone or other hand-held interactive communication device when driving, or causing or permitting the driving of a motor vehicle by another person using such a telephone or other device, has been on the statute books for over 10 years and the penalties involve more than a “slap on the wrist” with a fine of up to £2500 if driving an HGV, three points on the driver’s licence and a discretion to disqualify. As of the 1st of March the fixed penalty tariff for this offence has been doubled up to £200, highlighting the seriousness of the offence, the number of points on the driver’s licence will double to six.
To justify the use of a mobile (and thereby avoid a penalty), a court will need to be satisfied that the driver was:
using the telephone or other device to call the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency service on 112 or 999; or
acting in response to a genuine emergency; and that
it was unsafe or impracticable for the driver to cease driving in order to make the call.
In addition, HGV operators and their drivers should be aware that convictions for mobile phone use are required to be reported to the Traffic Commissioner and it would be wise to take account of the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Document on Vocational Driver Conduct which states that:
The practice of vocational licence holders using a hand-held mobile phone and other electronic devices, and especially while driving a HGV or PSV, is unacceptable and presents an undue risk to road safety. A report for an offence that a vocational driver has used a hand-held device while driving will trigger the action set out in Annex A.
The presiding Traffic Commissioner will be keen to ascertain the reason the driver is using a hand-held device. In cases where drivers are speaking with their employers or their customers, the Traffic Commissioner may consider the effect this might have upon the operator’s repute.
Annex A, the Traffic Commissioner’s reference point for a first conviction (code CU80) in a commercial vehicle for a driver with no previous adverse conduct history is to call the driver to a Driver Conduct Hearing and to suspend the driver’s vocational entitlement for four weeks which in many instances will be a heavier financial penalty than the fine imposed by a magistrates’ court.
The penalties involving the use of mobiles may well not stop here. Where the use of a mobile contributes to careless or dangerous driving, the penalties are far higher, and for such driving that causes serious injury or death custodial sentences often follow.