RHA and URTU agreement on tougher sentences for breaches of drivers’ hours law

The Road Haulage Association has amended its position on mandatory prison sentences for drivers defying drivers’ hours laws after the United Road Transport Union commented on the issue and opposed the idea.

The RHA had called on the government to take tougher action against drivers deliberately falsifying their driving records. It was reported that “ineffective enforcement” increased the temptation for drivers to break the law.

However, URTU have been quick to point out that drivers are increasingly being “bullied and harassed by unscrupulous employers into exceeding their hours in order to complete a journey on their employers’ behalf.”

An URTU spokesman says: “They are often faced with a threat of losing their job for not completing a delivery within an unworkable time scale. Courts should therefore always examine the reason why drivers’ records were allegedly falsified, before deciding on a level of punishment, rather than simply implementing mandatory custodial sentencing.”

RHA managing director Geoff Dunning accepts the Union’s argument “If someone is forcing a driver to behave in that way then they should be subject to the same sanctions.”  Dunning says: “What we are concerned about is that there seem to be a growing number of examples of this sort of thing happening and we really need to make sure it’s dealt with firmly.”

Posted on: 21.08.2012

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