Historial drivers hours offences

Proposal to make historical drivers’ hours offences

subject to Fixed Penalty Notices

The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently opened a consultation on proposed changes to the Road Traffic Offenders Act.  According to the DfT, these changes would allow roadside enforcement officers to take effective enforcement action against drivers who commit historical drivers’ hours and HGV levy offences.
Historical Driver’s Hours
What this means is the offences committed up to 28 days prior to an enforcement check could be dealt with by way of fixed penalty.  Currently they can only be dealt with by way of court proceedings as Fixed Penalty Notices can only be issued to offences which have been committed ‘on that occasion’.
The changes should bring the UK into line with many other Member States in the European Union.
One issue this raises, is what happens if the driver has already been issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice for that offence previously?  Well, according to the proposals, a penalty would be imposed unless an offender can produce evidence of being penalised already or being subject to court proceedings.
If the proposals are implemented, drivers and operators will need to keep careful records of all prosecutions and fixed penalty notices issued and paid.  In may be the case that drivers have to carry copies of the following documents in their cab:

  1. Details of all convictions for offences committed in the last 28 days,
  2. Copies of all fixed penalty notices received in the last 28 days,
  3. Letters confirming that matters have been prosecuted and the driver found not guilty (for offences committed in the last 28 days), and
  4. Letters confirming that a prosecution was brought and the matter withdrawn by the prosecution for offences committed in the last 28 days.

HGV Levy Offences
Whilst enforcement officers have the option to pursue non-payment of the HGV Levy for past days in the courts, the DfT takes the view that the sue of Fixed Penalty Notice is a preferable sanction
For advice on any transport law issues, contact Jared Dunbar on 01829 773 105
Contents believed to be correct at time of writing and article written on 04.07.14

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