Updated: Apr 30
Since our last blog on the 19th March 2020, there have been so many announcements, it is not possible to put all the information into articles. In order to try and get across as much information as possible, I have decided this month to include the ‘headline’ announcement with a link to the material so you can read it for yourself if you are interested.
As ever, we are working behind the scenes to help operators stay on the road throughout this enormous challenge. If you need assistance in responding to tricky correspondence from OTC or a Desk Based Assessment, then get in touch. We may also be able to help with more general advice in interpreting how this latest guidance might apply to YOU.
*A WORD OF CAUTION*
There is a theme throughout all of these announcements and relaxations that you should only exercise them where it is appropriate and safe to do so.
You shouldn’t allow the drivers to go on driving for 11 hours if you believe they are tired after 9.
Don’t skip your PMI if you believe there is an issue that should be remedied sooner.
If your tachograph is faulty or experiencing recording issues, make sure the device is repaired as normal.
The reality of the situation is that if one of your drivers is involved in an accident and you have applied an exemption, the onus will be upon you to demonstrate that you did so appropriately.
Stay well and stay safe.
Principal Solicitor | CE Transport Law
Consultant Solicitor | CE Transport Law
Courts running at approximately 40% capacity. No Jury trials running. Urgent cases ONLY
This is being updated weekly.
No Public Inquiries currently underway- consideration is being given to remote hearings
If you have an outstanding hearing the Commissioner may be prepared to deal with your case on the papers. Get in touch with the clerk and ask whether this is possible in order to avoid a substantial delay in your case concluding.
Guidance Issued on conducting an audit remotely during the pandemic from 21st April 2020
Have you considered having your processes audited if your vehicles are stood down? It may involve some cost but could save time down the line.
Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 20th April 2020
You can make a claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Temporary relaxation of driver’s hours extended to 31st May 2020
The driver’s hours rules were relaxed on the 23rd March 2020 in order to support the transport of vital goods, including the supply chains related to medicines, health, fuel, food and other necessities. This only applies to a limited category of goods and may be withdrawn earlier than 31st May if circumstances change.
Temporary removal of the D4 medical for licence renewals from 17th April 2020
Temporary removal of the routine D4 medical should make it easier for bus and lorry drivers to renew their driving licence. The relevant agencies estimate will keep 30,000 drivers on the road each month. As long as you are fit to drive, applicants will be able to apply for a 1-year licence without the need to provide further medical evidence.
Tachograph calibration and inspection expiry dates are extended by 3 months from 3rd April 2020
Although the expiry dates have been extended, you must continue to repair any faults with the tachograph system as normal, ensure that the tachograph system functions as required by the legislation, and that the system is sealed in line with the requirements. Initial calibrations are to continue, and any changes to the various parameters (such as tyre size, vehicle registration and so on) will also require action as normal.
Latest Traffic Commissioner Guidance regarding financial standing, operating centres, regular safety inspections, etc during COVID-19 emergency situation
On the 17th March 2020, the STC issued temporary guidance in relation to a number of key challenges the industry was expected to face over the coming weeks and months. This was updated on the 6th April 2020 with further clarification on some of the issues.
Driver CPC requirement temporary changes
Drivers whose Driver CPC card expires in the period from 1st March 2020 to 30th September 2020 can continue driving.
Driving tests and MOTs for heavy vehicles suspended for up to 3 months from 21st March 2020
You still retain responsibility for ensuring the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition.
Credit: Unsplash for use of some images