Drivers of trucks, coaches and buses – and their employers – must stay on top of training requirements or risk being fined and even losing their livelihood, warmed the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has also reiterated the need for operators to be aware of their drivers’ training hours and deadlines to avoid penalties.
When the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) was introduced in 2008 and 2009 for those who drive trucks, buses or coaches for a living, new drivers entering the industry had to start taking the Driver CPC initial qualification. However existing drivers were awarded ‘acquired rights’, which took their previous experience into account.
To remain within the rules, all drivers must do 35 hours of periodic training every five years, and the first deadline (September 10, 2013) is looming for drivers of buses and coaches with acquired rights.
Truck drivers with acquired rights now have less than 18 months to comply.
DSA’s chief executive, Rosemary Thew, said: “Britain’s roads are among the safest in the world, and one of the ways we aim to keep them so is by encouraging professional drivers to keep their skills up to date.
James Firth, FTA’s head of road freight and enforcement policy said: “This is a reality which is not going to go away. If the required 35 hours of Driver CPC training is not completed before the September 10 deadline, traffic commissioners will take action against drivers and the operators who allow them to drive illegally.”