Update on new DVSA legislation and fines

Update on DVSA legislation and fines

Back in December we talked about the DVSA rule changes and the implementation of the ‘in cab’ rest ban. At the time, there was a great deal of uncertainty about how the new rules would be implemented, or indeed when.

It’s now been confirmed that the rules will come into effect from 5th March.

What can the DVSA fine commercial drivers for from 5th March

From the 5th – next Monday – DVSA traffic examiners will be able to issue on-the-spot fines to drivers for any offence committed in the past 28 days. They can issue fines for up to 5 offences at a time, and at £300 for each offense, a driver could be in for a £1500 bill.

The rules apply to all British drivers, irrespective of whether the offense took place on UK or European roads. For drivers living abroad but stopped in the UK, the fine will need to be paid immediately, with the DVSA having powers to immobilize their vehicle until they pay.

Reminder – the offenses that you can be fined for under the new DVSA driver’s hours’ legislation

The new rules are designed to ensure better safety for all road users. About 40% of all tiredness related accidents involve commercial vehicles, or 1 in 5 of all accidents on UK roads. The new rules focus on:

  • Ensuring that drivers are taking the mandatory 45 hour break, every 2 weeks in the appropriate manner (ie. Not ‘in cab’ in a lay by)
  • Ensuring that drivers are not exceeding their daily drive hours allowance.
  • Checking that drivers have not manipulated or in any way interfered with their Tachy Graph.

While there has been mixed reaction to the new rules, it’s clear that the DVSA are trying to work within what is EU legislation and there wouldn’t appear to be an issue with foreign competition – indeed in some countries in Europe, the rules are being applied with significantly more vigor. Meanwhile, the underlying goal of improving road safety for all should be applauded.