RHA welcomes driver CPC enforcement

A leading haulage trade body says that enforcement authorities are “fully justified” in their approach towards those who have failed to meet Driver Certificate for Professional Competence (CPC) requirements.

On 10th September of this year it became an offence for many lorry drivers to continue driving if they had failed to complete 35 hours of approved training in the past five years. The rule applies to professional lorry drivers who gained their vocational licence before September 2009.

“Those involved in professional road haulage have got this issue sorted out in good time. If there are firms that have still not done so, we have to question whether they are suitable to be operating large, heavy vehicles,” a spokesman for the Road Haulage Association said.

“Those who are not qualified can become qualified in one week, so that they can get back to delivering goods legally. That should not be an insurmountable burden.

“Drivers and their employers have had plenty of time to get the necessary training completed. Some drivers are having problems as a result of licence renewal delays at DVLA but enforcement bodies are taking account of that. The DVLA and the traffic commissioners are fully justified and have the RHA’s support in enforcing the law from the start.”

Driving without a Driver CPC qualification can result in prosecution with a £1,000 maximum penalty for both the driver and the operator and the potential suspension of licences for the driver and the operator.

Busy employers may find it hard to stay on top of periodic training requirements as part of their overall employment law responsibilities. The consequences – suspension of drivers and loss of the necessary operator’s licence – could be significant.

Palmers’ road traffic team can provide specialist advice and representation to haulage firms dealing with traffic offences, with the aim of defending and preserving licences, wherever possible. For more information, please contact Jeremy Sirrell.