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Tacho infringements -hgv drivers

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Tacho infringements -hgv drivers

edited 20 February 2010 at 1:16PM in Motoring
27 replies 42.1K views
livaliciouslivalicious
349 posts
Forumite
edited 20 February 2010 at 1:16PM in Motoring
Hi there,

My partner, who drives a heavy goods vehicle, was stopped last October by the police who checked his digital tachograph. He was told that he had some infringements on his drivers hours ie failure to take adequate breaks or driving over the allowed time without resting, therefore he would have to go to court.

He received the court order yesterday, and he has decided to attend court and plead guilty to most of the charges as he was at fault for not fully understanding about rest times, breaks, etc.(yeah yeah i hear u say, but it was an honest mistake). He did notice one infringement that stated he didnt take the full 11 hour daily rest, but that was dated on a monday, the day on which he starts his working week, so that seems to be incorrect (sorry if i dont make sense im just going on what he told me, i dont have a clue about hgv drivers hours and breaks)

So my question is, what is his likely sentence to be. Is it just a fixed penalty and/or points on his license. The court order did state to bring financial circumstances info to base the sentencing on. What is the maximum he is expected to pay for driving infringements?

Thanks for any help in advance!
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Replies

  • This question would be best asked on a specific HGV forum, such as PDA (Professional Drivers Association) or Trucknet.

    However.

    Going to court pleading blind ignorance will be met with a dim view, he needs to show the court he's taken on board just how serious this is and possibly invest in something like a Tach Trak to take with him to show the beak he means to tidy his game up.
    And show them he has booked some revisional hours and regulation training, invested in up to date information for the same purpose.
  • Penalties for infringement of drivers' hours rules in Great Britain
    Penalties for infringements of the drivers' hours rules in Great Britain, with maximum fines as contained within Part VI of the Transport Act 1968 (as amended), are as follows:
    • failure to observe driving time, break or rest period rules: fine of up to £2,500 (Level 4);
    • failure to make or keep records under the GB domestic rules: fine of up to £2,500 (Level 4);
    • failure to install a tachograph: fine of up to £5,000 (Level 5);
    • failure to use a tachograph: fine of up to £5,000 (Level 5);
    • failure to hand over records relating to recording equipment as requested by an enforcement officer: fine of up to £5,000;
    • false entry or alteration of a record with the intent to deceive: on summary conviction fine of £5,000 on indictment two years imprisonment;
    • altering or forging the seal on a tachograph with the intent to deceive: on summary conviction fine of £5,000, on indictment two years imprisonment; and
    • failure to take all reasonable steps to ensure contractually agreed transport time schedules respect the EU rules: fine of up to £2,500 (Level 4).
    These are the maximum fines/punishment that can be imposed by a court of law.
  • edited 20 February 2010 at 9:59PM
    ParadigmParadigm
    3.6K posts
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    edited 20 February 2010 at 9:59PM
    To be honest without knowing the exact alleged infringements & seeing the tacho printout(s) it's impossible to say!

    Is it possible to post any scans of the docs with all personal details removed?
    Always try to be at least half the person your dog thinks you are!
  • anewmananewman
    9.2K posts
    Forumite
    I don't see how you can make a genuine mistake on something like this and get caught. Is the haulage company directing employees to break the rules?
  • ParadigmParadigm
    3.6K posts
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    anewman wrote: »
    I don't see how you can make a genuine mistake on something like this and get caught.

    An error is possible with driving breaks but we are talking a few minutes &, as long as it's not a repeated infringement, it would probably be ignored.

    Driving without sufficient daily rest is not a mistake you can make easily, everyone knows the time they finished work & the time they started the next day!!!
    anewman wrote: »
    Is the haulage company directing employees to break the rules?

    Possibly & if that's the case the driver is a fool...

    Without all the details it's impossible to even guess what's going on here so we shouldn't be trying!
    Always try to be at least half the person your dog thinks you are!
  • edited 21 February 2010 at 2:30AM
    banger9365banger9365
    1.7K posts
    Forumite
    edited 21 February 2010 at 2:30AM
    probelly fine and he might have to see the Traffic Commissioner and there different to the court and The Traffic Commissioner has the right to refuse an LGV/PCV licence to an applicant or suspend, revoke or increase the disqualification period of an existing driver's LGV/PCV entitlement.

    and i am sorry to say not fully understanding about rest times, breaks, working time etc is not going to work
    there or their,one day i might us the right one ,until then tuff

  • I can't be any help with your current question - but I would seriously advise your partner to learn the tacho regs until they are ingrained in him. They are complicated, but essential if he wants to keep his licence. My DH has been an LGV driver for about 20 years and he still, very occasionally, gets informed by his employer that he has broken one of the tacho regs - it may only be by 30seconds or so, but it's still a breach of the regs.

    If your partner has to go to court then chances are his employers are going to know about it - perhaps he should ask them about the infringements - especially if one of them appears to have happened on a day that should have no problem, i.e. the Monday after a weekend.

    Claiming ignorance is probably a bad idea - an LGV licence is vocational which means it can easily be withdrawn - if your partner claims ingnorance about the regs then the chances are that the court, quite rightly, can remove his right to drive LGVs.

    I'm not being judgmental here - my DH once had six tacho infringements and got fined £600 and, IIRC, 3 or 6 points on his "normal" driving licence. For an LGV driver it is really, really important to know the tacho regs.

    Julie
  • banger9365 wrote: »
    probelly fine and he might have to see the Traffic Commissioner and there different to the court and The Traffic Commissioner has the right to refuse an LGV/PCV licence to an applicant or suspend, revoke or increase the disqualification period of an existing driver's LGV/PCV entitlement.

    and i am sorry to say not fully understanding about rest times, breaks, working time etc is not going to work

    Fully agree, his employer may also be investigated by VOSA.

    Also as its a digital tacho he has no real defence as it is alot easier to check where you are upto with those than it is with the old analouge ones (wax disc). As for not understaning the rules, that is the first basics you need.

    The 11 hrs rest one you mention does sound as though it could be wrong, BUT without seeing the printouts involved it is hard to say.

    My advice would be to seek legal advice before attending court, because along with the fine that the court imposes the Traffic commisioner may impoe a suspesion or revokation of HGV entitlement depending on the severity of the infringments.

    The punishment will depend on the severity and regularity or the offences. I.e. a couple of minutes over the driving time, and the odd daily rest error may not get to big of a fine, but regular 1/2 hours over time and insufficent daily rests on regular occasions should expect not to be driving HGV's for a while if ever again.

    But as has been said it is very hard o say without knowing the full details.

    One suggestion is that your OH gets himself booked on a driver CPC course for drivers hours asap, he could use that in mitigation.
  • ParadigmParadigm
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    farmerboy wrote: »
    But as has been said it is very hard o say without knowing the full details.

    That's putting it mildly, I'd say it's impossible!

    10 hrs 50 mins rest will be looked at in a totally different way to, say, having no rest at all!

    The fact that daily rest periods can be reduced to 9 hrs 3 times a week complicates matters further.

    We have nowhere near enough information to even have a wild guess as to the outcome of a court case although I agree that using ignorance of the law as a defence isn't the best plan ;)
    Always try to be at least half the person your dog thinks you are!
  • Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your responses! Ive just typed a very long message which unfortunately got deleted when I tried to post it. So i will try to remember everything.

    Firstly, i just want to make it clear that my partner has no intention of pleading ignorance in court as a defence. I just wanted to explain that he accepts that he messed up and should have double checked and checked again that he was doing the regulated rest breaks etc.

    His employer does not in any way tell their drivers to break the law. His boss in fact has gone through the infringements with him and has kept it to go through it all again with his solicitor on Monday. Therefore I am unable to give you an exact printout or breakdown of his infringements.

    He does have 9 infringements for being a few minutes (no more than 3 minutes) out on his rest breaks. And 1 infringement for exceeding the driving time allowed. The one I mentioned before about being on a Monday but saying he has not taken his 11 daily hour rest, is because he drove for 10hours 39 minutes, which he did explain to the policeman was because he was in London on that day, stuck in rush hour traffic, and because of the sheer volume of traffic meant it took him longer to find a place to park up for the night.

    Thanks as well for suggestions to invest in a Tach Trek, which he will definitely look into, and yes he will definitely make sure that the tacho regulations would be ingrained in his head from now on. He should have made sure before, but you live and learn hey =0)
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