Lorry, bus and coach drivers will face tough new penalties if they are caught exceeding their time limits on the road.
The DVSA can fine drivers up to £300 if they’re caught breaking the rules. Drivers can also be prosecuted or have their vehicle immobilised. However, at the moment, DVSA can only fine drivers for offences committed that day and ongoing offences such as manipulating tachograph records. But soon DVSA traffic examiners will be given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for any drivers’ hours offences committed in the previous 28 days.
In a single roadside check, traffic examiners will be able to issue fines for up to five drivers’ hours offences. It means drivers could be fined up to £1,500 in a single check if they have consistently broken the rules – either in Great Britain or elsewhere. The rules will also apply to drivers who don’t live in Great Britain. However, they’ll need to pay any fines immediately, before being allowed to continue their journey. The DVSA will immobilise their vehicle until they pay.
The exact date the rules will change has not yet been confirmed.
As well as giving fines to drivers for recent offences, DVSA traffic examiners will also start issuing fines to deal with drivers who don’t properly rest. Lorry, bus and coach drivers must take a 45-hour break at least every fortnight. From 1 November 2017, the DVSA will start to fine drivers up to £300 if they spend their full weekly rest break in their vehicle in places where it causes a problem, such as residential areas and laybys.
“These tougher fines will help us to take stronger action against any drivers or operators who break drivers’ hours rules and will help make our roads safer,” DVSA Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn said. “There’s no excuse for driving while tired. The results of falling asleep at the wheel of 40-tonne lorry can be devastating to families and communities. Any driver breaking these rules is putting other road users at risk and could face losing their licence and livelihood.”