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Professional drivers: meeting the conduct standards

Jan 11, 2017
When the conduct of a professional driver has been called into question they may be called to appear before a traffic commissioner.

A professional driver’s conduct can make them unfit to hold a licence which can affect their ability to keep working and directly affect an operator’s business. Vocational drivers are expected to fully understand the relevant legislation before carrying out their professional duties. This includes the rules around drivers’ hours and tachographs and other behaviour and offending, such as using a mobile phone while driving or falsifying drivers’ hours records.

On its blog, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) looks at what happens when professional drivers don't meet the conduct standards.

Drivers’ hours, working time directive and tachograph offences

The drivers’ hours, working time and tachograph rules help vocational drivers keep the public safe when they’re using the road. The traffic commissioners always consider it a serious offence when drivers make a deliberate false record. The blog includes the example of a driver who used a magnet to manipulate the tachograph. A DVSA investigation revealed that the driver and other drivers had committed a number of false record offences by using magnets and interrupter devices. The drivers were called to conduct hearings where the traffic commissioner imposed periods of revocation and disqualification – the most serious case received up to four years.

Mobile phones and other electronic devices

Using a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving - except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop - is illegal and presents a huge risk to road safety.

The type of action that traffic commissioners are likely to take against these offences (including in private vehicles) varies. The OTC blog gave the example of a vocational driver who had been using a mobile phone while driving a lorry and it was his second offence. The driver was suspended from vocational driving for eight weeks.

The blog is entitled ‘Professional drivers: meeting the conduct standards’ and can be read in full at: https://movingon.blog.gov.uk/

 

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