News that the rules on drivers’ hours are to be changed means the whole industry is gearing up for the stricter laws and potential retrospective fines.  The change means that, rather than being fined on the day for any offence committed that day only – or for repeated and ongoing offences – drivers can now face multiple fines going back a month.

 

So if a driver has been caught driving over their legal hours limit, they could be fined for any and every time they’ve done this in the previous 28 days.  Drivers’ hours are strictly controlled, and are based on the number of hours – and the working pattern – that makes drivers safe and attentive on the road. Without this kind of legislation, drivers could cause fatal accidents through tiredness as a result of unhealthy or stressful working patterns.

 

So while the fines will be a burden to any companies or individual drivers who have slipped up in the previous few weeks, the measure is a worthwhile one and one which could save the lives of drivers as well as other road users. The DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) has the power to fine drivers a maximum of £300 every time they’re caught driving when they shouldn’t be. Ultimately, the DVSA can take away a driver’s right to drive – immobilising their vehicle and prosecuting them. This new law carries a maximum fine of £1500 for five offences committed in the preceding 28 days either in the UK or elsewhere, up from a maximum of £300.

HGv driver fines

 

It’s hoped the new increase in potential penalties will make drivers and employers think twice before setting illegal driving hours. It’s not yet known exactly when the new rules will come in, but drivers would be wise to start playing by the rules immediately, if they’re not already. On top of the new fines for hours offences, drivers can also be fined up to £300 for staying in their vehicle for their weekly rest break if it causes inconvenience to others. This is to prevent lorries causing problems because of where they’re parked when the driver isn’t working. The law comes in on 1st November 2017, and is designed to prevent the litter, noise and nuisance of long-stay lorries where they don’t belong.

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