Currently the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can only fine drivers for offences that they have committed that day, or for ongoing offences, such as manipulating tachograph records, which record drivers’ hours.
However, it has announced that the rules are to be changed so that lorry, bus and coach drivers who drive when tired will be fined for every time they have done so in the last 28 days.
DVSA traffic examiners are to be given new powers to issue on-the-spot fines for any drivers’ hours offences that have been committed over that period and this will apply to offences which took place in other countries as well as in Great Britain.
The rules will also apply to drivers who are not resident in Great Britain and they will need to pay any fines immediately, before being allowed to continue their journey. DVSA will immobilise their vehicles until they pay.
“In a single roadside check,” the DVSA said, “our traffic examiners will be able to issue fines for up to five drivers’ hours offences. It means you could be fined up to £1500 in a single check if you’ve consistently broken the rules”.
Although the exact date when the rules will change has yet to be confirmed, the Agency promised that it will be well-publicised so that drivers and vehicle operators are fully aware of the penalties.
As well as giving fines to drivers for recent offences, DVSA traffic examiners will start issuing fines to deal with drivers who fail to rest properly.
From 1 November 2017, it 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”. For example, if lorry drivers spend their full break in the cab of their lorry in a lay-by.