Legal update: August 201905 August 2019

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Enforcement statistics published

DVSA recently published its latest round of enforcement statistics.

The top prohibition defects found for HGVs were:

■brake systems and components

■condition of tyres

■service brake operation

■direction indicators and hazard warning lamps

■steering mechanism.

For trailers, they were:

■brake systems and components


■tyre conditions


The most prosecuted offences were:

■drivers’ hours



■driver licences

■construction & use.

For bus and coach, the top prohibition defects found were:

■seat belts

■brake systems and components

■driver and passenger doors

■tyre conditions


The top prosecuted offences for bus and coach were:

■drivers’ hours


■driver licences

■lack of O licence

■COIF (certificate of initial fitness).


Tyre ban consultation

The DfT is seeking views on a proposed ban on tyres aged ten years and older from certain vehicle types, namely heavy goods vehicles, heavy trailers, and buses, coaches and minibuses. The aim is to see if this could improve road safety. Give your views here:

Register your trailers

Regardless of when the UK leaves the EU, UK hauliers must register any trailers they plan on using for journeys outside the UK and Ireland. This obligation came into force on 28 March 2019. If this is not done, hauliers may be fined or subject to other enforcement action.

Smart tachographs introduced

Since 15 June 2019, smart tachographs are mandatory for all new vehicles. The new ‘Annex 1C’ compliant tacho aims to reduce administrative processes and digital tachograph tampering. The ‘smart tachos’ will use a GPS to record the start and end location of the drivers’ work, and record every three hours of driving time.

In order for operators to use the 1C tachos, they will need to update their download tools and analysis software. Stopping vehicles to check the tachograph will no longer be necessary, as enforcement officers are able to use short range devices to check tachos up to 190m away. Information recorded by the tachograph, such as the most recent security breach attempt, whether the driver has a valid card, and motion data errors, will be transmitted. Drivers’ hours and break times will also be included, to indicate if the driver has exceeded daily driving limits.


Brexit impact clarified

The government has agreed with the EU an extension of the UK’s EU membership until 31 October 2019 at the latest. The DVSA has recently released new guidance on this for hauliers, which is summarised below. The extension means that UK hauliers can continue to operate across the EU as usual, without needing an ECMT permit, until 31 October 2019 at the earliest.

In addition, the EU has passed a new law ensuring that, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019, more than 90% of journeys to the EU will not require an ECMT permit for the remainder of 2019.

Operators will still have to monitor regulations around insurance, drivers’ licences, cabotage and driver CPC, which may not be clarified until very late in the day if there is no deal. It remains very important to monitor the government and RHA websites to get the latest position as the final deadline approaches.

Backhouse Jones

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