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Financial Standing requirements for 2017

Posted by Jonny on Dec 6, 2016 in Latest News

From 1st January 2017, financial standing requirements for standard national and international licence holders will rise by a staggering 18%.

 

This follows the annual assessment of the exchange rate between the pound and euro on the first working day of October, by the department for transport. Under EU legislation the current rate is set at €9,000 for the first vehicle and €5,000 for each additional vehicle. Therefore vehicle one will require £7850, and £4350 for each subsequent vehicle. It is a vast increase and the result of a fluctuating pound in the wake of the vote to leave the EU.

 

Struggling with the increase in financial standing?

 

In light of the changes, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner has stated that they will consider offering a period of grace of up to 6 months (but no longer) to struggling operators. This is purely for the purpose of meeting the financial standing levels on a permanent basis. Failure to do so could lead to regulatory action.

To apply for a period of grace, it must be requested in writing to the Traffic Commissioner and offer tangible evidence that financial standing will be met when the period of grace ends.

Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell, said: “The financial standing requirement is mandatory so we have to apply the rates to all operators and licence applicants. However, we recognise that some businesses will feel the impact of the increase more immediately.

 “We have advised staff dealing with applications and regulatory hearings to be mindful of the impact of the increase when dealing with operators and giving advice on alternative ways of satisfying the new rates,” she added.

The rates for restricted O-licence holders will remain at the current levels set at £3,100 for the first vehicle and £1,700 for each subsequent vehicle nominated on the licence.

Financial standing can be evidenced using:

  • Bank  Accounts
  • Credit Cards
  • Overdraft Facilities
  • Factoring Agreements

Alternatively, operators have the option to reduce the authorisation on their licence in line with available finance. This can be done by completing a variation application (available from the Traffic Commissioners website).

 

If still unable to satisfy the requirement, call us and we will help you to explore alternative options available to you to demonstrate finance.

For a free consultation, call Nick Woodhead on 01829 773 108.

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Tougher penalties for motorists caught using mobile phones

Posted by Jonny on Sep 26, 2016 in Latest News

Motorists caught using a handheld phone are currently given three penalty points and a minimum fine of £100, but this is set to be increased to six points and £200 under new Government plans.

The new rules could also see more experienced drivers going to court if they offend twice, and facing possible fines of up to £1,000 and at least a six-month driving ban.

This move which will start in early 2017 will see the Government crack down harder on motorists than originally planned.

A consultation document published in January this year had proposed tougher penalties for HGV drivers than general motorists, with the latter receiving four penalty points compared with HGV drivers’ six penalty points.

However, concern at the rising use of mobile phones whilst driving, particularly among younger drivers and male drivers, and the rise in fatal driving accidents involving mobile phone use, has seen the Government opt for punitive sanctions across the board.

 

Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that a driver impaired or distracted by their phone was a contributory factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014, including 21 that were fatal and 84 classed as serious.

Announcing the tougher penalties, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that using mobile phones while driving must become as unacceptable in society as drink or drug driving.

 

crash_scene

 

The image above was released by Leicestershire Police this week to highlight the potential outcome of mobile phone usage whilst behind the wheel. The crash took place on 24th November 2014. It occurred after Christy George, 38, lost control of her car hitting an HGV, which in turn crossed the central reservation killing a motorist and severely injuring several others. The loss of control was due to mobile phone use whilst driving. She has since been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

For advice on transport law issues, contact Jared Dunbar on 01829 773 105.

 

Content believed to be correct at time of writing 26.09.16

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DVSA release 2015 figures for roadside encounters

Posted by Jonny on Sep 15, 2016 in Latest News

New figures released by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (“OTC”) show that almost a third of all DVSA roadside encounters with HGV’s and trailers last year were issued with a prohibition for a mechanical defect.

Prohibition figures released by the OTC show that 31% of the 51,079 truck and trailer checks carried out last year resulted in a PG9 being given to the operator.

Of the 15,815 prohibitions issued between 01 January 2014 and 31 December 2015, 7,384 (46.7%) were immediate prohibitions.  Immediate Prohibitions are handed out for the most serious mechanical problems and often require the truck to be immobilised. The number of delayed prohibitions issued totalled 8,431 (53.3%).

The highest prohibition rate, as a percentage of vehicles stopped, was achieved by London’s Industrial HGV Task Force, an enforcement initiative carried out by the DVSA, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police. It issued 1,221 mechanical prohibitions on 2,345 checks (52%); 52.5% of trucks and 47.3% of trailers stopped by the Task Force had a defect of some sort.

Checks in the Hertfordshire, Essex and Bedfordshire region achieved the lowest prohibition rate. Just 653 (24.5%) of the 2,658 checks uncovered a mechanical defect. Just under a quarter (23.4%) of the HGVs examined were given a PG9 in this region, whilst 26.9% of trailers were defective.

The DVSA’s Cumbria, Lancashire and Tyne and Tees enforcement office checked the highest number of trucks and trailers for roadworthiness issues – 6,993 checks (4,703 HGVs and 2,290 trailers). It also handed out the greatest number of prohibitions to trucks (920), 690 of which were immediate. Checks in the region achieved the highest number of immediate prohibitions for trailers: 513 were handed out, compared to 407 delayed prohibitions.

Central London was the worst area for immediate prohibitions given to trucks: 806 of the 1,122 prohibitions issued to HGVs last year were immediate, compared to 316 delayed prohibitions.

Road transport solicitor, Jared Dunbar, commented ‘it is interesting to note the differences in regions with regards to compliance.  It has been known for some time that the authorities are trying to crack down on compliance in London for some time, particularly with regards to the construction industry as they are notoriously non compliant. 

We see a large amount of scaffolders who do not view their journey to site as part of their working day.  All to many of them seem to think the Operator Licensing rules only really apply to ‘proper hauliers’.  This is why so many of them find themselves called to Public Inquiry for non-compliance.

What all scaffolders should do is treat the road safety compliance in the same responsible manner that they treat their other health and safety compliance.  We often find it is simply a lack of knowledge within the company which is the problem rather than any deliberate attempt to circumvent the regime.

My advice to all scaffolders is to seek advice now on compliance and don’t wait from the knock on the door from the DVSA”

 

For advice on transport law issues, contact Jared Dunbar on 01829 773 105

 

Content believed to be correct at time of writing 08.09.16

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