The Road Haulage Association is contesting the view of VOSA and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) that mechanics require a Driver CPC if they are taking a vehicle for its annual test, as reported by Transport Operator in our January/February edition.
The RHA said: “We have argued in detail to officials at the Department for Transport (DfT) that such an interpretation is clearly not the intention of the Directive and that reasonable interpretation of the exemptions listed in the Directive includes mechanics taking LGVs to test.
“In addition, we have found from colleagues abroad [that] although Belgium appears to insist on a DCPC, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic take the same view as the RHA.”
According to VOSA, Driver CPC is not required by a mechanic who is road-testing a vehicle, but is required when he takes the same vehicle to a VOSA test station.
The RHA has previously criticised this position as “an unnecessary burden on business… The vehicle is being used for non-commercial carriage of goods and the mechanic does not drive the vehicle as a profession.”
Transport Operator has received several enquiries from fleet operators questioning the validity of VOSA’s position. We advise anyone who still requires clarification regarding Driver CPC requirements to contact the responsible agencies directly.
Dual-licence drivers need 35 DCPC training hours by September
Meanwhile, the DSA has also warned that drivers with both PCV (Cat D) and LGV (Cat C) licences will have to complete their first 35 hours of approved training by the PCV deadline of September 10 this year, if they are to retain their entitlement to drive buses and coaches commercially.
They cannot use their truck qualification to delay training completion to the LGV deadline of 10 September 2014.
As a one-off concession, these drivers will then have six years (from September 2013 to until September 2019) to complete their next block of 35 hours of approved training.
FTA will oppose any slackness in DCPC enforcement
The Freight Transport Association has welcomed recent pronouncements by transport ministers and traffic commissioners that no concessions will be offered to operators or individuals who choose not to conform to the Driver CPC legislation.
June Powell, general manager – training for FTA, told Transport Operator: “If there were any suggestion from Government that the date might be allowed to slip, FTA would support its members who have taken the time, effort and cost to comply with the law that came into force in 2008/9 and oppose such a move.”
Powell said that last January saw the FTA enjoy a 29 per cent rise in Driver CPC training business compared to the same month in the previous year, 98 per cent of which it (unsurprisingly, given its membership) delivers to drivers from the freight sector.