U-turn on Driver CPC exemptions?
The Driving Standards Agency has announced that individuals such as mechanics, driving heavy vehicles for short distances for delivery or repair, will be made exempt from the requirement to hold the Driver CPC. This is expected to benefit 76,000 individuals and the companies that employ them.
The U-turn follows a consultation conducted during June, after the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) raised concerns over the interpretation of the European directive and burden it would place on the industry.
Prior to this the Government said that mechanics taking vehicles for annual test were required to take Driver CPC. Roads minister Stephen Hammond claimed that the change is set to save UK businesses £29 million in the first year alone. Hammond said “Driver training is essential to ensure that lorry and bus drivers keep their skills up to scratch and keep our roads safe.”
“But making the training compulsory for those who only drive HGVs over short distances – because they are delivering them for repair or testing is costly and time-consuming. That is why we are making these exemptions which will reduce costs and administration for businesses.”
The exemptions will be implemented this autumn and will apply in situations where “no goods or passengers are being carried, the vehicle is not being used for hire or reward, driving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) or public service vehicles (PSVs) is not the driver’s main job and the vehicle remains within 50 kilometres of the driver’s base.”
The DSA will publicise the changes to be made to the legislation and implementation date as soon as possible. Guidance will also be issued about DCPC enforcement on affected drivers.
Companies that have already funded Driver CPC training for mechanics or any exempt driver will not be entitled to any repayment of the costs incurred.
Posted on: 09.08.2013