Thursday 26 November 2020

TCs update statutory documents

The traffic commissioners (TCs) have updated their statutory documents to take into account changes in legislation and case law.

There is now mutual recognition of loss of driving qualification between Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, so an individual holding a British licence who is disqualified in Ireland, or vice versa will be disqualified in both nations.

Where drivers have been abusive or intimidating to officials, traffic commissioners are now obliged to consider whether such misconduct makes them unfit to hold a vocational licence.

If a driver fails to attend a hearing without notice, then the TC should decide the case based on the papers available. If a driver requests an adjournment in advance, then the TC should consider this bearing in mind that some drivers may have to work away, but the grant of a second adjournment would be very unlikely.

If a driver cannot adequately understand the language that the hearing is conducted in (English or Welsh) then the TC should provide an interpreter if that is the only way in which the driver can take part and the driver cannot fund their own interpreter or find a family member or friend who can translate for them. Deaf drivers can use a friend or relative to interpret for them, but if the TC is not satisfied as to their ability, a qualified interpreter should be provided and paid for by public funds.

Where drivers have been called before the TC following a mobile phone offence, the TC should ascertain whether the call was with the driver’s employer or a customer. In such cases the TC may consider the effect that this will have on the operator’s repute.

Drivers involved in bridge strikes will be called to hearings and can expect to face disqualification. The culpability of the employer and transport manager will also be considered, and they may be called to public inquiry.

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