Breaches of drivers’ hours – an inconvenient truth?

Posted by AndrewT on 28th Nov 2012

The latest figures from VOSA on their roadside inspections makes interesting reading.

In July, Aug and Sept 2012 52,186 vehicle inspections were carried out. This is a big number but you need to consider that the number of inspections is the number of roadworthiness (vehicle condition) and traffic (drivers' hours, weighing, licensing etc.) inspections that VOSA conducted. So it is likely that one vehicle will have had a number of inspections.

The 52,186 inspections resulted in:

  • 12,332 roadworthiness prohibitions
  • 4,314 drivers’ hours breaches
  • 1,327 overloaded vehicles

Without the actual number of vehicles and with only three months of data it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from this. However, splitting the data between GB and overseas vehicles reveals that foreign vehicles are no worse than domestic vehicles and may even be marginally better. 

  Number of inspections Roadworthiness prohibitions Drivers' hours breaches Overloaded vehicles
GB Vehicles 27,351 6,573 2,357 905
Overseas vehicles 24,835 5,759 1,957 422

If this is representative of the whole year it challenges perceptions that overseas vehicles account for a higher rate of infringement against roadworthiness, drivers’ hours and overloading.   

According to VOSA one in six deaths on the motorway are caused by drivers who have fallen asleep.  The drivers’ hours law exists to protect all road users and ensure fair competition between hauliers.  Whatever the truth it is good to see VOSA taking action on rogue operators regardless of where they come from.