Drivers could now be fined £1,500 for up to five drivers’ hours offences in a single roadside check – and, importantly, the offences could have taken place in Great Britain or elsewhere.
The implementation date for the new rule has yet to be confirmed, but it will apply to foreign drivers as well as British and, says DVSA, vehicles will be immobilised until the fine is paid.
DVSA examiners will also fine drivers who spend their statutory 45-hour rest break each fortnight in the cab of the vehicle, if it is not parked somewhere suitable.
DVSA says lorries parked inappropriately or illegally cause problems for local communities. Examiners will target lay-bys and residential areas.
“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,” says Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive.
“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.”
James Firth, the Freight Transport Association’s head of licensing policy and compliance information, adds: “For some years, DVSA officers have been virtually powerless to take effective action against non-UK HGV drivers who may have committed a string of offences in the days and weeks before the vehicle is stopped.
“These new powers mean the enforcement authorities will be more able – and more likely – to take action against all drivers who are found to have repeatedly flouted these critical road safety laws.”