How to avoid the TC

Mar 07 | 2023

Scott Bell, a regulatory lawyer with Backhouse Jones, presented at The Movers & Storers Show with the intention of helping transport operators avoid having to attend a public enquiry and, if the worst should happen, how to mitigate the consequences.

Scott Bell, Backhouse Jones  He explained that there were many reasons a fleet operator could become the subject of a Public Enquiry (PE) including a roadside prohibition, an MOT failure, a bridge strike or tachograph issues.  He said, however, that most of these cases won’t lead to a PE if the company responds correctly.  For example, if you conduct your own investigation and send your findings to the Traffic Commissioner (TC) proactively, it helps to demonstrate that you are acting responsibly.  He said that the TC accepts that sometimes things go wrong.  If you act quickly and decisively it could prevent the DVSA coming round to do its own investigation.  Scott gave the example of a bridge strike.  He said that the operator is not obliged to report the incident, but Network Rail, for example, will do.  Much better to get in first.

Should the DVSA perform an investigation, operators need to show evidence of the steps they have taken to avoid a reoccurrence.  This could involve additional training, for example.  Scott reminded the audience that senior managers and directors also have to show evidence of appropriate training as they need to know enough to ask the right questions of their transport managers.  It’s also important to have a degree of external auding or transport systems, maintenance and health and safety functions to ensure they have the appropriate knowledge.

Tachograph record keeping requirements

Scott warned about the changes in tachograph record keeping that passed into law in August 2020 but have not been fully enforced.  He said that now they are, and operators have an obligation to make sure both management and drivers are familiar with the new requirements.  He recommended that companies should get specific training but warned that not all CPC courses have been updated ...

Photo: Scott Bell, Backhouse Jones.

Click here to read the full story in The Mover magazine.

Click here to read the next editor's pick.