Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Foreign truckers face crackdown

Postal strike

Drivers of foreign-registered lorries could be subject to on-the-spot fines and having their vehicles confiscated if found to be driving while tired, under new plans aimed at improving safety on our roads.

The Government initiative would see exhausted drivers face a £500 penalty if they have spent more than nine hours behind the wheel in a day, or more than 90 hours over a two-week period.

Currently, police can only fine drivers if they are in contravention of the rules at the time they are stopped, despite nearly all HGVs being fitted with tachographs, which record driving activity over a 28-day period.

Offences recorded on the device can only be dealt with by court summons, which creates difficulties when prosecuting foreign drivers, as they simply leave the country, often never to return.

The new proposals aren't strictly limited to drivers of foreign nationality – UK drivers will also find themselves on the receiving end of fines if they have been found to contravene rules on working hours within the past four weeks.

Police would be able to impound lorries until the fine is paid and the driver is deemed rested enough to resume driving – or a second driver arrives to take their place.

Stephen Hammond, the transport minister, said: "Tired drivers are more prone to accidents which is why there are limits on the number of hours hauliers can drive. Sadly a selfish minority ignore this, putting others' road safety at risk" reported the Telegraph.

"The option to issue a fine for this offence would provide an effective weapon in the fight against irresponsible driving by both foreign and UK drivers."

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